October 19, 2015

Tribunal dismisses petition against Bayelsa Speaker

By Samuel Oyadongha

Yenagoa—The National and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Yenagoa has dismissed the petition brought against the Speaker of Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Mr. Kombowei Benson of the Peoples  Democratic Party, PDP, for Southern Ijaw Constituency IV by Mr. Ebifaghe Orunimighe, of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The petitioner, Mr. Orunimighe, is seeking the nullification of the result of the election on grounds of non-compliance with the Electoral Act. Delivering judgement on the petition, Justice Onaneze Madu said the petitioner failed to present evidence to substantiate his claims of irregularities, violence and mass thumb-printing during the State Assembly election of April,11, 2015.

Justice Madu said the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, acted within the electoral law to cancel the results of election at Koluama ward 17 based on the report given by the Supervisory Presiding Officer in the area.

After dismissing the petition, the tribunal upheld the election that returned Mr. Benson as the winner and member representing Southern Ijaw Constituency IV. Reacting to the verdict, the Mr. Benson said   his victory was for all and enjoined his opponents to join him move the constituency forward.