The Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has nullified the election of Governor Duoye Diri.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports the Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Petition Tribunal passed the judgment on Monday.
The election was nullified based on a petition by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), which argued that it was unlawfully excluded from participating in the election.
The three-man panel held that the election was unlawful due to the exclusion of ANDP and its candidate, King George from the governorship election that held in November.
The tribunal, however, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a bye-election within 90 days.
According to the tribunal, the INEC has no power to disqualify any candidate for any election.
TNG reports the INEC had in its argument said ANDP’s deputy governorship candidate, David Esinkuma was 34 years old at the time of nomination and therefore did not qualify for the election.
However, the ANDP told the tribunal that David Esinkuma was duly substituted by the party within the allowed time frame, following the notification from INEC that he is under-age.
The tribunal ruled that only a court has the power to disqualify any candidate for any election and that the petition was filed within the 21 days which is the stipulated time for petitions to be filed.
Justice Musa described the action of INEC to exclude the ANDP from the Bayelsa Governorship Election as illegal.
However, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Muhammad Sirajo dismissed the petition in its entirety on technical grounds.