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Appeal Court annuls Tribunal ruling, affirms Diri as Governor [update]

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The Court of Appeal in Abuja has, on Friday, set aside the judgment of the Bayelsa Election Tribunal nullifying the election of the Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

The Appellate Court reversed the August 17, 2020 majority judgment of the Governorship Election Tribunal which sacked Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as Governor.

A five-man panel held that the tribunal was wrong to have assumed jurisdiction over the petition filed on February 26, 2020 by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP).

The Court, in two unanimous judgments, held that the cause of action was statute barred as at when ANDP filed the petition.

ANDP had challenged its perceived “unlawful exclusion and unlawful disqualification” from the governorship election held November 16, 2019 by the Independent National Election Commission (INEC).

The appeal court stated that the matter is a pre-election issue that ought to be raised within 14 days.

Setting aside the majority judgment of the tribunal, the Appellate Court affirmed his return as the winner of Bayelsa State governorship election.

More details will follow…

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