…APC files appeal, says it’s travesty of justice
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri & Samuel Oyadongha
THE Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, yesterday, disqualified the Bayelsa State Deputy Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.
The court, in a judgement by Justice Inyang Ekwo, invalidated Degi-Eremienyo’s participation in the governorship election scheduled for Saturday, November 16, after it found him guilty of supplying false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The judgement followed a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1101/2019 which the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, its Governorship Candidate, Douye Diri, and Deputy Governorship Candidate, Lawrence Ewhruojakpo, instituted before the court.
Cited as defendants in the matter were Bayelsa APC governorship candidate, David Lyon, Degi-Eremienyo and INEC.
The court said it was satisfied that the APC deputy governorship candidate gave false information in the form CF0001 he submitted to INEC to contest the election.
It held that all the documents containing his educational qualifications bore different names.
The various names on the documents attached to his Form CF001 were said to be: Biobarakum Degi-Eremienyo, Degi Biobaragha, Degi Biobarakuma, Adegi Biobakunmo, Degi-Eremienyo Wangagha.
Justice Ekwo held that by supplying false information to INEC, the defendant, acted in breach of section 31(5) and (6) of the 2010 Electoral Act, stressing that since Form CF001 is a document validated by oath, “the consequence of lying on oath is grave.”
Relying on a decided case-law in Action Congress V. INEC (2007), he held that, “where a candidate is found to have lied on oath, a court must issue an order disqualifying such a candidate from contesting the election.”
It’s travesty of justice – APC
Reacting to the ruling, the Bayelsa APC said it is travesty of justice.
Publicity secretary of the party, Doifie Buokoribo in a statement said: “The judgement occasioned a miscarriage of justice, is glaringly perverse and against the weight of evidence before the Court. We are totally surprised that the Court could despite the objections by our lawyers, go ahead to determine a weighty criminal allegation of falsification and fraud solely on the bases of affidavit evidence contrary to well established judicial precedents that such must be proved beyond reasonable doubt by calling oral evidence.
“We strongly believe that the judgement cannot withstand a superior judicial scrutiny, therefore, our lawyers have filed a notice of appeal and other court processes to arrest the execution of the judgement pending the outcome of the appeal.
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“We call on all our members and supporters not to be distracted but continue to peacefully mobilize for the November 16, 2019 elections.”