Our Reporter


THE disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) running mate in the November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, may have turned suicidal, it was learnt on Monday.

Minister of State for Petroleum Timipire Sylva, stunned his audience while featuring on a Channels Television programme “Sunrise Daily”.

He said the disqualified running mate could have taken his own life on account of the blemish to his name by the case that was decided by the Supreme Court on February 14, a day before Degi-Eremienyo would have been inaugurated alongside David Lyon.

Rebutting the insinuations of forgery levied against Degi-Eremienyo, the one-time Bayelsa governor expressed shock at the apex court judgment which he described as a travesty of justice.

Sylva further affirmed that it was shocking that the court did not recommend the prosecution of the APC running mate if it established a forgery case against him.

He said: “I have in my hand somebody that is contemplating suicide, somebody that has been criminalised for life. We feel that there are aspects that cannot stand the test of time.”

Affirming that the candidate has requested the police to investigate him to disprove the allegation of forgery, Sylva said that there was no single allegation of forgery leveled against the candidate.

He said the various name changes in the credentials submitted by Degi-Eremienyo were incidental to cultural variations and mistakes that could not be blamed on the candidate.

The minister said: “Forgery is supposed to be a criminal offence and when you have this kind of situation you have to come out and correct the impression.

“There was no forgery here at all. There were just variants of the name on the certificate and the Supreme Court went ahead to uphold the judgment of a lower court.

“We are also saying that the Supreme Court has introduced extraneous things to that judgment. That judgment said that the deputy governor had been disqualified, but that judgment did not disqualify the governorship candidate.

“The Supreme Court went ahead and disqualified the governorship candidate. Where did that come before the court? Because you don’t give what was not asked.

“If you have a case in court challenging the authenticity of the certificate of a candidate, that is a different one. But if you say it is a case of forgery and you have not heard from the person concerned, then you have not established anything.

“You haven’t gone to school or university where this person studied to confirm the veracity of the allegation but you already condemn the person. It’s is very sad and dangerous.

“We are doing everything to ensure that that doesn’t happen. We cannot cut our noses to spite our face. Peace is good for everybody and that is what is holding now. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that there is some injustice in Bayelsa.”

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