By Shola Abayomi.
The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole has faulted the ruling by the Supreme Court, which nullified the election of the Bayelsa State governor-elect, Chief David Lyon, barely 24 hours to his inauguration.
It would be recalled that a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, had on Thursday ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Lyon, who is of the APC, while directing the commission to issue a fresh Certificate of Return “to the candidate with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election.”
Reacting, Oshiomhole declared that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri, who came second in the election cannot be sworn in on Friday (tomorrow) as Governor because according to him, Diri and other candidates that participated in the election “did not meet the required spread.”
He averred that the judgement of the Supreme Court lacked the ingredients of justice, while accusing the court of using technicalities to nullify the wish of the people.
His statement read in part: “From the online reports we have read, the Supreme Court ruled that the certificate of return earlier issued to David Lyon be withdrawn and directed INEC to issue a certificate of return to the person who scored the highest votes after Lyon if such a person has the required spread.
“As a political party, we respect the rule and we respect and have confidence in the judiciary. However, this judgement lacks the fruits of justice. For me and our party, at the heart of election is the issue of who did the people actually voted for?
“Where justice and democracy thrive on the alter of technicalities, it constitute danger to our democracy. Nobody has raised issues whether David Lyon and his running mates won over whelming majority.
“Issues of whether a chieftaincy title is part of a name or not could not be a reason to dismiss the wishes of the great people of Bayelsa state who reposed absolute confidence in the election of David Lyon and his running mate during the last governorship election.
“It is not a state secret. If as the Supreme Court has ruled, David Lyon cannot be sworn in as governor and that the person who has the highest number of vote and spread be sworn in, it simply means that from tomorrow, there will be no government in Bayelsa state.”
It added, “As far as we know, the next candidate who happen to be a PDP candidate does not have one quarter of the total lawful votes cast in that election in two third of the eight local government areas in Bayelsa state.
“Therefore, from the facts available to us and in consultations with our lawyer, it is clear that there no candidate that meets the requirements of the law which means that no one can be sworn in tomorrow legally unless there is deliberate abuse of the legal process.
“We have accordingly asked our lawyers to look at all the windows that exist in law and take steps to ensure that the will of the people of Bayelsa state is not undermined on the whims of technicalities.”