Bayelsa Governor Tests Negative For Coronavirus

A file photo of Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has tested negative for coronavirus (COVID-19).

His acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, disclosed this in a statement on Thursday following speculations that the governor may have been infected with the virus.

Alabrah explained that Governor Diri was tested for COVID-19 by officials of the epidemiology unit of the state Ministry of Health on Wednesday and the samples were sent to the Irrua Specialist Hospital, in Edo State.

He added that the result was obtained from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)-accredited laboratory at the hospital.

“The result showed that Governor Douye Diri had ‘no evidence of COVID-19 infection,” he said.

The governor’s aide said his principal opted for the test after several phone calls and messages, following speculations on the social media that he might have been infected.

According to him, this was fuelled by his sitting next to Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State who tested positive for the virus, during the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting held in Abuja on March 19.

Following the result of the test, Governor Diri thanked Nigerians and the people of Bayelsa for their concern, love, and good wishes toward him and his family.

He also prayed for a reversal and healing for all those that had been infected by the pandemic.

“I had to take the test so as to douse the tension and end all the speculation. Besides, I needed to know my status concerning the COVID-19.

“I am, therefore, thankful to God that the result was negative as I anticipated,” he said.

The governor added, “I also thank Nigerians and Bayelsans all over the world for their concern, love and prayers. I pray for everyone that has been infected by this disease to be healed.”

Meanwhile, the state government has directed civil servants on Grade Levels 1 to 12 to stay at home for two weeks, with effect from March 26.

It also ordered the closure of all public and private primary and secondary schools in the state, as part of measures to curtail the spread of the disease.

The government had also suspended burial and wedding ceremonies for two weeks while the number of persons at worship centres and public gatherings has been reduced to not more than 20.

According to the statement, the restriction order also affects night clubs and bars in the state.

Lyon Finally Accepts Supreme Court Judgment, Urges Supporters To Be Law Abiding

 

Mr David Lyon, the ousted governor-elect of Bayelsa State, has finally accepted the ruling of the Supreme Court that nullified his victory at the November 16th, 2019 governorship election.

In a statement he personally signed and made available to reporters on Thursday, Lyon said he is aware of the extent to which the Apex Court’s decision has further dashed the hopes of Bayelsans “as it upturns the democratic mandate of the Bayelsa electorate”.

Lyon urged supporters of his political party and those who voted him to accept the verdict and maintain the peace.

READ ALSO: Court Declares Impeachment Of Kogi Ex-Deputy Governor Achuba Illegal

He stated that while they have a right to think the judgment was unjustice, they must shun all forms of violence or any conduct that threatens the peace and development of Bayelsa State.

“I hereby unequivocally state my decision to accept the Supreme Court verdict however distressing as it is, it is the decision of the Supreme Court, and we are all bound to accept the outcome as law-abiding citizens of this great country,” Mr Lyon said.

The ousted governor-elect thanked the leadership of the All Progressives Congress, APC, at the state and national levels for their tenacity in upholding the ideals of constitutional democracy.

He appealed to all Bayelsans not to shy away from participating in the governance of the State for the common good and well-being of the people.

According to Mr Lyon, it is his resolve to continue to join forces with well-meaning individuals, institutions, and organisations towards bringing the much-needed development to Bayelsa State.

Bayelsa Election: Supreme Court Judgement Is The Hand Of God, Says PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to the Supreme Court judgment that sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

PDP National Vice Chairman (South-South), Emmanuel Ogidi, said the February 13 verdict that declared its candidate, Duoye Diri the winner of the election is the handiwork of God.

Speaking on Wednesday during an interview on Channels Television’s Politics Today, Ogidi said: “It is the hand of God. Everything we do is the hand of God because you are holding the power on behalf of God.

“The position of the governor of a state has the power of life and death because once a judge passes judgment, it is the governor that will sign. Yes, we as politicians we play everything, we do everything by the rules. We go for elections; we go for elections, but it is God that decides who will win.”

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Dismisses Lyon And APC’s Application For Lacking In Merit

When asked if it was God that rejected the APC and ordained his party, the PDP chieftain neither spoke for or against the question.

PDP National Vice Chairman (South South), Emmanuel Ogidi

He simply replied saying: “I just said God gave us victory, I would like to stop there.”

Ogidi’s comments come shortly after the Apex Court on Wednesday dismissed an application for a review of the February 13 judgment.

In her ruling today, Justice Amina Augie said the application lacked merit and the decisions of the court are final.

She added that the applicants failed to point out errors, stating that the judgment is final for all ages.

The apex court judge said the judgment is final in the ‘real sense’ and no court on earth can review the judgment.

“There must be an end to litigation even if we review this judgment, every disaffected litigant will bring similar applications and the finality of Supreme Court judgments will be lost.”

Supreme Court Dismisses Lyon And APC’s Application For Lacking In Merit

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an application for review of the judgment which sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

Mr Lyon was sacked by the apex court on February 13, on grounds that his deputy, submitted forged certificates to INEC.

The court ruled that Mr Degi-Eremienyo’s disqualification had affected the joint ticket with which he and the governorship candidate, Lyon, ran for and won on November 16, 2019.

At the proceeding on Wednesday, Mr Lyon and APC in their applications argued by Afe Babalola and Mr Wole Olanipekun asked the court to review and set aside the judgment which voided their participation in the November 16 governorship election.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Olisa Metuh To Seven Years In Prison After Four-Year Trial

Mr Babalola added that the Supreme Court has inherent powers to set aside its own decision because the judgment was a nullity on account of denial of fair hearing of his client.

Meanwhile, Mr Olanipekun, on his part, argued that the apex court erred in law when it invoked section 36 of the Electoral Act to disqualify the APC’s participation in the election when the Federal High Court judgment restored by the Supreme Court did not disqualify the party’s eligibility.

However, counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Tayo Oyetibo, informed the apex court that the application by APC and its governorship candidate were a dangerous invitation to the Supreme Court to violate section 285 of the 1999 constitution, for the court to sit on appeal over its own matter.

He further stated that the apex court was right in disqualifying Lyon as the governor-elect because section 187 of the 1999 constitution is clear and unambiguous to the effect that a governorship candidate who has no deputy candidate is not qualified to contest any governorship election in Nigeria.

After taking arguments from parties in the matter, Justice Amina Augie who read the judgment said the application lacked merit and the decisions of the court are final.

She added that the applicants failed to point out errors, stating that the judgment is final for all ages.

The apex court judge said the judgment is final in the ‘real sense’ and no court on earth can review the judgment.

“There must be an end to litigation even if we review this judgment, every disaffected litigant will bring similar applications and the finality of Supreme Court judgments will be lost.”

She added that the applications are frivolous and vexatious, and awarded the cost of N10 million against the applicants to be personally paid by their counsel.

Justice Augie added that the counsels of the APC and Mr Lyon are to each pay Governor Douye Diri, his deputy Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo and the PDP the same N10 million.

Supreme Court Set To Deliver Judgment On APC’s Application For Review

 

The Supreme Court is set to deliver judgment on the application for review filed by the sacked Bayelsa governor-elect, Mr David Lyon and the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Mr Lyon and APC in their applications argued by Afe Babalola SAN and Mr Wole Olanipekun SAN, prayed the court to review and set aside the judgment of February 13 which voided their participation in the November 16 governorship election.

Mr Babalola had in his submissions said that the Supreme Court has inherent powers to set aside its own decision because the judgment which voided the election of his client was a nullity on account of denial of fair hearing of his client.

READ ALSO: UPDATES: Supreme Court Hears Application For Review Of Judgment Sacking Lyon

Mr Olanipekun on his part argued that the apex court erred in law when it invoked section 36 of the Electoral Act to disqualify the APC’s participation in the election when the Federal High Court judgment restored by the Supreme Court did not disqualify the party’s eligibility.

Counsel to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Tayo Oyetibo, however, informed the apex court that the application by APC and its governorship candidate were a dangerous invitation to the Supreme Court to violate section 285 of the 1999 constitution, for the court to sit on appeal over its own matter.

He further stated that the apex court was right in disqualifying Lyon as the governor-elect because section 187 of the 1999 constitution is clear and unambiguous to the effect that a governorship candidate who has no deputy candidate is not qualified to contest any governorship election in Nigeria.

After taking arguments from parties in the matter, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta announced the stand-down of the matter, adding that the panel would reconvene soon for its decision in the matter.

UPDATES: Supreme Court Hears Application For Review Of Judgment Sacking Lyon

A crowd of lawyers, politicians, and others gather at the Supreme Court in Abuja on January 14, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

The Supreme Court is currently hearing the application for review of the judgment which sacked the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

The APC is seeking a reversal of the judgment which disqualified its candidate David Lyon.

Representing Mr Lyon and Degi-Eremienyo is Afe Babalola, who argued that the apex court has the power to set aside its earlier judgment.

He insisted that the application is not for a review of the judgment but to set aside the judgment sacking Mr Lyon who overwhelmingly won the election.

Mr Babalola added that the judgment of the court delivered on February 13, amounts to a denial of fair hearing.

READ ALSO: Court Sentences Olisa Metuh To Seven Years In Prison After Four-Year Trial

Justice Sylvester Ngwuta is presiding and is being assisted by six other judges.

In his final submission, Mr Babalola urged the court to reverse its decision.

Also, Wole Olanipekun representing the APC is asking the apex court to set aside its February 13, 2020 judgment on the ground that the court had no jurisdiction to have entertained the appeal in the first place.

He explained that the suit was first filed at the Federal High Court as a pre-election matter, which is the foundation of the matter that made the appeal get to the apex court.

Mr Olanipekun, therefore, restated his argument that the apex court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He added that all humans are fallible so it is not beyond the apex court to make a mistake.

Mr Olanipekun also faulted the interpretation of the judgment of the court by INEC which issued a certificate of return to Senator Douye Diri of the PDP, urging the court to grant the application to set aside its earlier judgment.

Counsel to the PDP, Tayo Oyetibo argued that the application by David Lyon is an invitation to violate the nation’s constitution.

He added that it is also an invitation to the court to ‘sit in judgment’ over its earlier decision which must not be allowed while urging the court to summarily dismiss the application.

Mr Oyetoyibo argued that areas were well considered before the apex court arrived at its decision on February 13, insisting that the court cannot change the operative part of any judgment delivered by the apex court which is the final court in the land.

Citing section 22 of the Supreme Court act, Mr Oyetoyibo said “the court has wild powers to make any order including the order asking INEC to withdraw the certificate issued to David Lyon. The order made by the court was not out of order.”

He explained that the facts and justice of the case warranted the decision of the court and there is no error in it whatsoever.

He added that if any error is felt, it can only be addressed in a future case.

Mr Oyetibo insisted that the grant of this application will engender judicial stability as people will now wait for a possible review before acting on any judgment of the apex court.

He urged the court to dismiss the application and not to disturb the status quo.

Yunus Ustaz Usman who is representing Governor Douye Diri aligned himself with the submissions of Mr Oyetibo, insisting that the court cannot make any order outside the judgment, especially after a full-blown trial.

He reaffirmed the finality of the court as the highest of the land, urging the court to dismiss the application in the interest of the overall survival of the country.

Counsel to Bayelsa Deputy Governor, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo vehemently opposed the application for a review of the judgment of the apex court and urged the court to dismiss the applications filed by Mr Lyon and the APC for totally lacking in merit.

Chris Uche who is representing Mr Ewhrudjakpo argued that the Supreme court lacks the power to sit on appeal over any judgment delivered by the court.

He added that it is a case of outright abuse of court process, stating that the court must ‘jealously’ guard its judgments otherwise, there will be a floodgate of applications for review which will lead to a bastardization of the judicial process.

He urged the court to resist the dangerous invitation to violate the nation’s constitution.

Present to witness the proceeding is the National Chairman of the APC, Mr Adams Oshiomhole.

Also in the court is the incumbent governor of the state, Senator Douye Diri and the sacked deputy governor-elect, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

The court has risen, to resume later to deliver judgment.

Court resumes session as Justice Amina Augie is reading the judgment.

The apex court has dismissed the application, saying it is lacking in merit.

Justice Augie added that the decisions of the court are final.

She added that the applicants failed to point out errors, stating that the judgment is final for all ages.

The apex court judge said the judgment is final in the ‘real sense’ and no court on earth can review the judgment.

She added that the applications are frivolous and vexatious, and awarded the cost of N10 million against the applicants to be personally paid by their counsel.

Bayelsa Election: Supreme Court To Hear APC’s Request On Wednesday

A file photo of a courtroom at the Supreme Court complex in Abuja. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

 

The Supreme Court has fixed Wednesday, February 26 to hear the application filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The ruling party is seeking among others, a review of the February 13 judgement of the apex court which disqualified its candidate in the November 16, 2019, governorship election in Bayelsa State, David Lyon.

In the application filed on Thursday last week by its team of lawyers led by a Senior Advocate of Niger (SAN), Wole Olanipekun, the APC asked the Supreme Court to set aside some portions of its judgment.

READ ALSO: El-Zakzaky, Wife Unfit To Stand Trial, Court Rules

This include where the court “wrongly” held that the Federal High Court disqualified its governorship candidate along with its deputy governorship candidate, and where it held that the joint ticket of its candidates was vitiated by the disqualification of the deputy governorship candidate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, and that both candidates were deemed not to be candidates in the election.

The party also urged the Supreme Court to set aside the portion of its judgment where it ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare as winner of the governorship election, candidates with the highest number of lawful votes.

It disagreed with the portion where the court ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to its governorship candidate and issue a fresh one to the candidate who had the highest number of lawful votes.

The APC argued that it was wrong for the Supreme Court to have voided its candidates’ participation in the election, because the judgment by the Federal High Court which disqualified its deputy governorship candidate, was stayed as at when the election was conducted.

It also requested that the Supreme Court set aside what it described as the “wrong” interpretation given to its judgment of February 13, 2020, and the subsequent execution by INEC.

The party contended, among others, that the Supreme Court in its judgment misinterpreted the November 12, 2019, judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which the apex court affirmed.

It insisted that the Supreme Court acted without jurisdiction and denied it fair hearing when it proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate, even though the Federal High Court in the judgment by Justice Inyang Ekwo, which the apex court affirmed, refused the plaintiffs’ prayer to disqualify Mr Lyon.

APC Files Suit Asking Supreme Court To Reverse Judgment Sacking Lyon

A file photo of APC governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, David Lyon.

 

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has approached the Supreme Court with an application urging the court to reverse its decision on the governorship election in Bayelsa State.

In an application filed on Thursday by its team of lawyers led by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the party sought a review of the judgement which disqualified its candidate in the election, Mr David Lyon.

It also asked the apex court to set aside the “wrong” interpretation given to its judgment of February 13, 2020, and the subsequent execution by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The party contended that the Supreme Court, in its judgment, misinterpreted the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which the apex court affirmed.

It argued that the Supreme Court acted without jurisdiction and denied it the party a fair hearing when it proceeded to disqualify its governorship candidate.

The APC noted that this came even as the Federal High Court, in the judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo which the apex court affirmed, refused the plaintiffs’ prayer to disqualify Lyon.

It also faulted the interpretation given to the Supreme Court judgment by the electoral umpire in deciding to issue certificates of return to the candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election.

The party added that it was wrong for the Supreme Court to have voided its candidates’ participation in the election, when the judgment by the Federal High Court which disqualified its deputy governorship candidate, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, was stayed as at when the election was conducted.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the application.

Bayelsa: Mischief-Makers Using My Silence To ‘Instigate Violence’, Says David Lyon

 

Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16, 2019 governorship election, David Lyon, has said that some mischief-makers have seized on the opportunity of his silence to perpetrate all kinds of violence and civil unrest in Bayelsa State.

Mr Lyon was declared the winner of the election but was sacked by the Supreme Court, few hours to his inauguration in February, following the disqualification of the deputy governorship candidate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, who submitted forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Mr Lyon in a statement on Wednesday stated that he would not support or be engaged in any act of violence following the outcome of the apex court judgement.

READ ALSO: Ingobere Emerges Speaker Of Bayelsa Assembly, As Bubou-Obolo Steps Aside

He added that the mischief-makers are using the situation to express their grievances, causing avoidable circumstances in the state.

“As a law-abiding citizen of Nigeria, I would never support or direct anyone to be engaged in acts inimical to the progress and wellbeing of the same people I seek to govern.

“Some mischief-makers have seized on the opportunity of my silence to perpetrate all kinds of evil intentions and actions in the guise of expressing their grievances and have created unnecessary and avoidable circumstances in the political history of our state and country.”

Mr Lyon maintained that his thoughts and actions have never wavered from the fact that the court is the last hope of the common man.

He disclosed that since the development, he has rather been preoccupied with exploring all legal processes in addressing the incident.

Adding further, he called on all political leaders irrespective of party affiliations to call their teaming supporters to be calm and law-abiding and never take laws into their hands.

Mr Lyon expressed his faith and confidence in the judicial process and the Supreme Court, in particular, noting that “at the end of the day, justice will be done to himself and the good people of Bayelsa State.”

Ingobere Emerges Speaker Of Bayelsa Assembly, As Bubou-Obolo Steps Aside

 

Abraham Ingobere, a PDP lawmaker representing Brass Constituency 3 has just been made the Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly.

The Speaker of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, Monday Bubou-Obolo, stepped aside to pave the way for the emergence of a new Speaker.

READ ALSO: Bayelsa APC Youths Condemn ‘Attack’ On Justice Odili

The development followed the inauguration of Governor Douye Diri, who is from the same Bayelsa Central Senatorial District as Bubou-Obolo.

Members, therefore, elected the Deputy Speaker, Abraham Ngobere, as the new Speaker of the Assembly.

Bayelsa APC Youths Condemn ‘Attack’ On Justice Odili

 

Members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) youth wing from Bayelsa State have condemned what they’ve described as the continued assault on the Justices of the Supreme Court.

Their complaint follows a protest held by another group at the residence of a justice of the Supreme Court, Mary Peter-Odili, in Abuja, on Tuesday.

The protesters held placards berating the judge for the decision on the governorship election in Bayelsa State on February 13, 2020.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Odili in the judgement, ordered the sack of the APC governor-elect, David Lyon and his deputy, Senator Biobarakumo Degi.

Reacting to the development, the APC youths under the aegis of Bayelsa APC Youth Vanguard for Real Change, asked the party leadership to blame itself for presenting candidates with forged credentials for the elections.

Spokesman of the group, Comrade Johnson Dume said that the APC leadership under Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, rather than grandstand, should apologise to its teeming supporters for the “monumental embarrassment” that the nomination had caused them.


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The youth leader asked APC faithful to also hold the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, responsible for the party’s loss at the court.

According to him, Sylva knew about Degi’s forged documents but still went ahead to field him, so that the party would lose.

The Supreme Court on February 13, 2020 nullified the election of David Lyon and his running mate, Degi, on the ground that the latter forged his school certificates thus paving the way for the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri to be sworn in as governor.

Diri was sworn-in on Friday, February 14, along with his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

Bayelsa Violence: Police Extend Curfew Until Sunday

Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, Mr Uche Anozia, addressing reporters at the Command’s Headquarters in Yenagoa on February 17, 2020.

 

 

The Bayelsa State Police Command has extended the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed in the state.

The Commissioner of Police in Bayelsa, Mr Uche Anozia, announced this while briefing reporters at the Command’s Headquarters on Monday in Yenagoa, the state capital.

This followed a three-day curfew earlier imposed by the police as a result of the violent protest that erupted the state.

READ ALSO: Police Impose Three-Day Curfew After Violence In Bayelsa

The violence was the aftermath of the Supreme Court Judgement which sacked David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the governor-elect in the state on Thursday last week.

Briefing reporters, the police commissioner explained that the command reviewed the security situation in the state.

He noted that after credible intelligence, they decided to extend the curfew but reviewed the time.

Anozia said, “In light of credible intelligence available to the command viz-a-viz the prevailing security situation in Bayelsa State, the command has deemed it necessary to review and extend the curfew to Sunday, 23 February 2020, with effect from today the 17 February 2020, from the hours of 10pm to 6am.”

“Members of the public are advised to remain indoors as security agents will be out to arrest anyone who violates the curfew and such outlaws will be prosecuted,” he warned.