BAYELSA: INEC Voids APC’s 352,552 Votes, Issues Diri With Certificate
Nigeria’s electoral umpire INEC, on Friday, recognized Douye Diri and Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the respective governor-elect and deputy governor-elect of Bayelsa state in compliance with Thursday’s Supreme Court order.
In doing so, INEC voided the 352,553 votes scored by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
The apex court had annulled the election of David Lyon of APC because his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, submitted fake certificates to INEC ahead of the election.
The court also ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return earlier issued to Lyon and issue a fresh one to the candidate who came second with the required spread in the election.
INEC consequently met on Friday and reviewed the judgement, where it decided that PDP’s Diri should be declared winner of the poll having come second with 143,172 votes in the election.
At a press briefing on Friday, INEC Chairman Mahmud Yakubu said, “the Commission met this morning (Friday) and reviewed the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested.
“Without the votes scored by the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose candidates were deemed not to have participated in the election, the total number of lawful and valid votes cast in the election now stand at 146,999. Out of this figure, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172. Similarly, the party has scored more than 25% of the lawful votes cast in all the eight (8) Local Government Areas of the state.”
“Furthermore, the total number of registered voters in places where election was not held or cancelled as a result of sundry violations is 90,822. The candidate of the Accord party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes. The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With this outcome, the election is conclusive at first ballot.
“Consequently, Senator Douye Diri AND Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected as Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State respectively.”
INEC on Friday consequently issued Diri and his running mate with certificates of return in fulfillment of the requirement of Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The PDP candidates are expected to be sworn in as governor and deputy governor on Friday (today) as the tenure of the incumbent Governor, Seriake Dickson, ends at midnight today.