By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA — The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, on Saturday, upheld the election of Governor Duoye Diri and his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
The Justice Ibrahim Sirajo-led three-member panel tribunal, in a unanimous decision, dismissed the first petition that was filed by the Alliance for Democracy, AD, and its candidate, Owei Woniwei, for want of merit.
The tribunal held that the petitioners failed to by way of credible evidence, prove that the deputy governor of Bayelsa State, Ewhrudjakpo, tendered forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
In the lead judgement that was read by Justice S.M. Owoduni, the tribunal further held that the petitioners failed to also establish the allegation that Ewhrudjakpo falsified his age.
Describing the case as “unnecessary waste of time of the court”, the tribunal, upheld preliminary objections that Diri, Ewhrudjakpo and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, lodged to challenge the competence of the petition.
The AD and its candidate had in their petition, alleged that Ewhrudjakpo altered the name on the National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, certificate he presented to INEC for the purpose of the governorship election that held on November 19, 2019.
Meanwhile, the tribunal is currently considering merits of two other petitions also seeking to sack governor Diri and his deputy from office.