Tribunal Throws Out Akeems’ Petition, Affirms Diri’s Victory

The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, has thrown out the petition filed by Micah Akeems, the National Rescue Movement (NRM) candidate in the November 11 gubernatorial election, against Governor Douye Diri of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

The Tribunal dismissed the petition for lacking merit, citing that NRM garnered only 415 votes in the election, which was won by Governor Diri with 175,196 votes, as declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Akeems had approached the tribunal, alleging that Diri and his deputy, Sen Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, did not receive the majority of lawful votes cast in the election.

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However, the Tribunal dismissed all three grounds of the petition, including claims related to the conduct of the election, nomination, and eligibility of the deputy governor.

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It ruled that Akeems failed to provide enough evidence of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act during the election.

Furthermore, the Tribunal held that Akeems lacked the legal standing to challenge the eligibility of a candidate from another political party, as issues of nomination are internal affairs of political parties.

It also stated that the issue of Ewhrudjakpo’s NYSC certificate had been previously resolved and was a pre-election matter, which should not have been brought before the Tribunal.

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Written by Tapre Timine

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