Supreme Court rejects Alaibe’s bid to unseat Diri as Bayelsa governor

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THE Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal filed by the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP’s) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Ndutimi Alaibe, in his bid to unseat Governor Douye Diri.

Alaibe, a former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), had, by his appeal, sought to, among others, set aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the declaration of Diri as the winner of the governorship primary of the party held on September 3, 2019, for lacking in merit.

He had argued, among others, that the PDP committed electoral and constitutional illegality by allowing local government chairmen, councillors and those he called ineligible persons to vote during the party’s governorship primary in violation of the party’s guidelines.

The PDP stalwart had argued that the party’s guidelines did not permit chairmen and councillors elected within 90 days to the election to vote during governorship primary.

At the mention of the appeal yesterday, a five-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour, held that the appeal was without merit.

The court’s panel also identified some other defects in the appeal and concluded that it did not fall within the purview of a pre-election matter but an internal affair of a political party, which it has no jurisdiction to entertain.

Realising the observations of the court, Alaibe’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), applied to withdraw the appeal, following which the apex court dismissed it.

Reacting to the court’s verdict, former Governor Seriake Dickson hailed the Judiciary for being firm and courageous in defence of the truth, justice and democratic governance in the country.

The Nation

– Jul. 15, 2020 @ 09:59 GMT

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