Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday upturned the August 17, 2020 verdict of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal which had sacked Governor Duoye Diri from office and ordered fresh poll to be conducted within 90 days.
A five-man panel of the Court of Appeal led by Justice Adezila Mshelia set aside the tribunal’s verdict and affirmed Diri’s election in its judgment delivered on Friday.
The three-man election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja had, in a split decision of two-to-one, nullified the November 16, 2019 Bayelsa State governorship election as a result of the unlawful exclusion of the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party and its candidate, King George, from the exercise.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Diri, his party, the Peoples Democratic Party, and the Independent National Electoral Commission had filed separate appeals against it.
The Court of Appeal upheld the appeals on Friday by holding that ANDP was not unlawfully excluded from the election.