Let’s Give Peace A Chance, Diri Tells Opposition

 

Governor of Bayelsa State, Douye Diri, has urged opposition parties to give peace a chance and join hands with him in his bid to rebuild the state.

Mr Diri was declared the winner of November 16, 2019, Bayelsa election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a day after the Supreme Court sacked Mr David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and ordered the electoral body to withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued to him.

Speaking during a thanksgiving service on Sunday, Mr Diri said that he would run an all-inclusive government, hence the need for the cooperation and support of all leaders in the state.

READ ALSO: SERAP Gives FG Seven-Day Ultimatum To Disclose Details Of Recovered Abacha Loot

 


He urged people not to be vindictive, stating that the recent declaration is a lesson for Nigeria.

“Let us not be vindictive, this lesson is not only for Bayelsa, it is for Nigeria, and that no man has the power more than the almighty creator.

“I use this opportunity to call on all Bayelsans home and abroad that there is a new government in place and we are inviting them to come with their skills and resources to come and invest in Bayelsa.

“Let us give peace a chance, without security, nobody will come to Bayelsa. We must ensure that Bayelsa is peaceful and secure,” he added.

PDP Caucus Calls For Arrest Of Oshiomhole, Lyon’s Deputy

The Peoples Democratic Party is one of the major political parties in Nigeria.
The Peoples Democratic Party is one of the major political parties in Nigeria.

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the House of Representatives, on Friday, called for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and the APC as a corporate entity.

The group suggested Oshiomhole and APC were complicit in presenting an unqualified candidate for the 2019 Bayelsa elections.

In a statement signed by the leader of the caucus, Kingsley Chinda, the PDP group said both parties ran foul of the Electoral Act which prohibits the fielding of unqualified candidates in an election.

In the same vein, the group called for the prosecution of the Deputy Governorship Candidate of APC in the November 2019 Governorship Election in Bayelsa State, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, under the Criminal Code.

READ ALSO: Douye Diri Sworn In As Bayelsa Governor

On Friday, the PDP candidate in the election, Senator Duoye Diri, was sworn in as Governor of the state, after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect, David Lyon, and his Deputy Degi-Eremieoyo over the latter’s invalid certificates.

“While we urge  Gov Diri to fully concentrate on the task of ensuring good governance and delivering the dividends of democracy to the people of Bayelsa State and Nigerians in general, we continue to call for and work towards deepening our democratic practices,” the PDP caucus statement said.

Bayelsa Election: INEC Has Appropriated Judicial Powers To Interpret Laws – Oshiomhole

 

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) of assuming the power of the judiciary to itself by declaring the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri as the duly elected governor of Bayelsa State.

Senator Diri was sworn in as the fifth civilian governor of Bayelsa state on Friday, after a judgement by a five-man panel of the Supreme Court sacking elected candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, hours before the inauguration.

READ ALSO: Douye Diri Sworn In As Bayelsa Governor

Addressing a news conference on Friday, the National Chairman of the APC, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole said that INEC acted illegally and the party is rejecting the declaration.

“I believe the fact that the Supreme Court insisted on the constitutional spread is in consideration of the fact that the constitution does not want a situation In which anyone; governor or president, preside over the affairs of their state without at least, enjoying two-third support of the state’s electorate.

“The votes scored by PDP and their candidate in that election, only met the requirement in five local government and you need six LG to meet the requirements of two-third; and the PDP candidate did not satisfy this requirement.

“INEC has now chosen to appropriate judicial powers to interpret laws that its neither competent to do; rather than allow the court to clarify the issue, INEC sought to appropriate judicial powers and chose to proceed without any express order from the Supreme Court,” he stated.

He stated that the party will seek legal redress to reclaim its mandate in the state.

“As a party, we have consulted and we have resolved that we do not accept and we reject the decision of INEC to illegally declare the PDP candidate as the winner of the election and purporting to waste votes cast in favour of David Lyon.

“We still believe that there are viable legal windows we can explore; we still affirm our confidence in the judiciary even with the pains in our heart,” he said.

Seize The Moment Of Glory To ‘Build Bridges Of Unity’, Jonathan Tells Diri

 

Former President, Goodluck Jonathan, has asked the governor of Bayelsa state, Senator Douye Diri, to seize this moment of glory to build bridges of unity by entrenching a culture of love, fairness and justice in the polity.

Senator Diri was sworn in as the fifth civilian governor of Bayelsa state on Friday, following a Supreme Court judgement sacking elected candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, hours before the inauguration.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Mr Lyon and issue a fresh certificate to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which are the Peoples Democratic Party.

READ ALSO: Douye Diri Sworn In As Bayelsa Governor

Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment on Thursday, made the orders after disqualifying the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

Mr Jonathan, who congratulated Governor Diri in a statement he personally signed, said that the journey to the Creek Haven is a divine one.

“As Governor, the responsibility of building hope and sustaining peace across the State now lies on your shoulders.

“Your journey to Creek Haven is a divine one, so I advise you to use the position to do good to humanity and pursue the development of the State in order to write your name in gold.

“You have worked with me before as a commissioner, so I am without doubt that you will live up to the expectations of our people,” he added.

Mr Jonathan called on all Bayelsa people to be “law-abiding, peaceful and embrace this transition in all sincerity, and work together towards a united and prosperous State.”

Let’s Eschew Bitterness, Love Ourselves Regardless Of Party – Diri


Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri, has called on people of the state to eschew bitterness and acrimony for the overall interest of all.

Diri who spoke during his inauguration on Friday in Yenagoa, the state capital also appealed for love to reign regardless of political affiliation.

“Let us eschew bitterness and acrimony and learn to love ourselves whether of the same party or of different parties. Primarily, we are brothers and sisters from Bayelsa State.

“Our creed today is to serve you. Like the immediate past governor (Seriake Dickson) will say, that he who serves men well serves God well,” he said.

His swearing-in comes a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

READ ALSO: Douye Diri Sworn In As Bayelsa Governor

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw the Certificate of Return that had been issued to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

The court then ordered INEC to issue a fresh Certificate-of-Return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which was the PDP.

Hours before the swearing-in on Friday, INEC officially declared Diri as the winner of the election in the state.

He was sworn-in along with his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

Police Impose Three-Day Curfew After Violence In Bayelsa

 

The Police in Bayelsa state have imposed three-day dusk to dawn curfew after angry All Progressive Congress (APC) protesters destroyed properties following the Supreme Court ruling which sacked the party’s elected candidate, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

According to the Commissioner of Police in the state, Uche Anozia, who made the announcement on Friday, the curfew will last between 8pm – 6am.

Some Angry group occupied major streets and the Government House on Friday morning, armed with APC flags and bearing placards, protesting the ruling of the apex court.

 

 

RELATED: ‘No Lyon, No Bayelsa,’ APC Members Protest At Government House

PHOTOS: Protesters Destroy Properties At Bayelsa PDP Secretariat

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) secretariat in Yenagoa was also not spared as the angry protesters attacked the building destroying properties.

They also stormed the private residence of the former governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, destroying properties belonging to the family of Mr Dickson, and the Bayelsa Broadcasting Corporation and destroyed 10 vehicles and properties.

 

 

The protesting members also called for a review of the Supreme court judgement which sacked David Lyon as Bayelsa State governor-elect.

The attacks follow the issuance of Certificate of Return to Senator Douye Diri of the PDP by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Abuja, on Friday.

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu told journalists during a briefing in Abuja that Diri was declared the winner of the November 2019 election after top INEC officials met to review the results of the election, without the votes of the APC which have been voided by the court.

PHOTOS: David Lyon Was At Inauguration Rehearsal When Supreme Court Removed Him

David Lyon was sacked by the Supreme Court on Thursday, February 13, 2020.
David Lyon was sacked by the Supreme Court on Thursday, February 13, 2020.

 

David Lyon was set to take over Bayelsa state before the Supreme Court ordered his overthrow on Thursday.

A five-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued Lyon, the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, after it ruled that the party’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, had presented forged certificates.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Sacks Lyon As Bayelsa Governor-Elect, Hours Before Inauguration

The court’s decision came as Lyon was attending a dress rehearsal for his inauguration, which had been scheduled for tomorrow, Friday at the Samson Siasia Sports Stadium in Yanagoa, the state capital.

Here are pictures from the dress-rehearsal:

 

 

Bayelsa Election: Be Careful Of Your Utterances, PDP Warns Oshiomhole

 

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, to be mindful of his utterances following the judgement of the Supreme Court on the Bayelsa State governorship election.

In a statement on Thursday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party described Oshiomhole as ‘factional national chairman’ who has ‘no stake whatsoever in the wellbeing of his own home state’.

“The party warned Oshiomhole, to steer clear of Bayelsa State as his apparent plots to trigger violence in the state has failed.

“The PDP further counselled Oshiomhole to be careful with his utterances and not use any forms of venomous garrulity and clear misuse of language to destabilise our nation and truncate our hard-earned democracy,” the statement said.

Earlier, the APC national chairman rejected the verdict of the court which sacked the candidate of his party, David Lyon, as the governor-elect in Bayelsa.

He had told a press conference at the APC secretariat in Abuja that the nobody was qualified to be sworn in as governor of Bayelsa State.

According to him, no one can be sworn in legally as governor in Bayelsa on Friday unless there is a deliberate abuse of the legal process.

 

In its reaction, the PDP described Oshiomhole’s comments on the ruling of the Supreme Court as “empty and inconsequential ranting”.

It stressed that the people of Bayelsa were aware that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) cannot take instructions from any individual.

The party said it was law-abiding but asked Oshiomhole to desist from what it called odious designs against Bayelsa, its government, as well as its people.

It urged the people of the state to remain calm, saying as their mandate has been restored and cannot be taken away by the ranting of any individual.

The reactions from the PDP and the APC national chairman followed the verdict of the apex court which sacked Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, as the winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili had ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to APC candidates and issue a fresh one to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes, and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election.

Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment, had disqualified Degi-Eremieoyo as a candidate in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC and upheld the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He held that the deputy-governorship candidate had infected the joint ticket with which he and the Lyon ran for and won the election.

VIDEO: ‘There Will Be No Govt In Bayelsa From Friday’, Oshiomhole Rejects Verdict Which Sacked David Lyon

 

 

The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, has rejected the judgement of the Supreme Court on the Bayelsa State governorship election.

He faulted the judgement while addressing a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, shortly after the apex court sacked the candidate of the APC, David Lyon, as the governor-elect in Bayelsa.

The APC national chairman stressed that the implication of the judgement delivered by the Supreme Court was that nobody was qualified to be sworn in as governor of Bayelsa State.

“If as the Supreme Court has ruled, David Lyon cannot now be sworn in as governor and as the person who has the highest number of votes and the spread to be sworn in, it simply means from tomorrow (Friday) there will be no government in Bayelsa State,” he said.

 

APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, addressing a press conference in Abuja on February 13, 2020.

 

 

An Infected Ticket

Earlier, a five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili sacked Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, as the winners of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

The court consequently ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to APC candidates.

It ordered the electoral umpire to issue a fresh certificate of return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes, and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election.

Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment, had disqualified Degi-Eremieoyo as a candidate in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC and upheld the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

He held that the deputy-governorship candidate had infected the joint ticket with which he and the Lyon ran for and won the election.

 

Adams Oshiomhole                                                        David Lyon                                     Diri Duoye

 

 

Altar Of Technicalities

Moments later after the verdict, Oshiomhole made known the position of his party while briefing reporters at the APC secretariat in the nation’s capital.

In his own interpretation of the judgement of the apex court, the APC national chairman insisted that Bayelsa would have no government from Friday.

According to him, not even the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has met the recruitment stated by the law for its candidate, Diri Duoye, to be sworn in as governor of the state.

“As far as we know, the next candidate (because these facts are before court) who happens to be a PDP candidate does not have one-quarter of the total lawful votes cast in that election in two-thirds of the eight local government councils in Bayelsa State,” Oshiomhole stressed.

He added, “Therefore, from the fact available to us and in due consultation with our lawyers, it is clear that there is no candidate that meets the requirements of the Supreme Court – which means no one can be sworn in legally tomorrow unless there is a deliberate abuse of the legal process.

“We have accordingly asked our lawyers to look at all the windows that exist in law and take steps to ensure that the will of the people of Bayelsa State is not undermined on the altar of technicalities.”

Bayelsa Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Suit Against Lyon’s Candidacy

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed the appeal filed by Senator Heineken Lokpobiri for lacking in merit.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by Justice Inyang Okoro, the apex court held that the lower court was right in its decision as Senator Lokpobiri filed his petition outside d 14 days allowed by law.

A 5-man panel of the court insists that the cause of action complained about by Senator Lokpobiri occurred on the 4th of September 2019 and not 7th as claimed in his petition which was clearly filed out of time.

Lokpobiri approached the Supreme Court claiming that he is the winner of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bayelsa governorship primaries which held on September 4, 2019.

READ ALSO: Contempt: Secondus, Others Appear In Court

He claimed that the party wrongly gave the ticket to Lyon who eventually contested and won the governorship election.

Lokpobiri who is a former Minister of State for Agriculture had approached the court, asking it to declare him, and not Lyon the authentic candidate of the APC.

He told the court that the governorship primary conducted by the APC in Bayelsa State was not done in compliance with the guidelines and the constitution of the party, and therefore, concluded that the party had no candidate.

However, the Court of Appeal, in Port Harcourt, upturned the High Court’s decision last month, declaring that the APC had a candidate in the governorship election.

Operation Puff Adder: Kidnapped Victims Rescued In Bayelsa

Bayelsa Govt House Photographer, One Other Shot Dead

 

Operatives of the Operation Puff Adder have rescued some kidnapped victims in Bayelsa State, southern Nigeria.

The victims – Mrs Vivian Obinna and Ogregade Ileimokumo who are residents of Imiringi Community, Ogbia Local Government Area of the state were abducted in the late hours of Wednesday.

READ ALSO: Buhari Meets With Service Chiefs Amid Calls For Their Removal

In a statement issued on Thursday by the spokesman for the State Police Command, Asinim Butswat, “policemen were alerted and Operatives of Operation Puff Adder intercepted the kidnappers at Otuokpoti Waterside, where the kidnappers were trying to move the Kidnapped victims into a waiting speedboat.”

Butswat explained that the police have launched a manhunt to arrest the fleeing kidnappers who escaped with bullet wounds, noting that investigation is underway.

Dickson Approves New Minimum Wage For Bayelsa Workers

Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson

 

Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has approved the payment of the 30,000 Naira New National Minimum wage to workers in the State from January.

The Governor, who gave the approval during a meeting with the Leadership of organised labour in Government House Yenagoa that ended Friday night, also directed the State’s financial team to follow through the template set by the National wages and commission, in implementing the New salary structure.

According to the Governor, there was nothing too much to be paid to workers in view of their contributions to national development.

Last year, President Muhammadu Buhari signed a new minimum wage into law. But the federal government and organised labour have struggled to agree on the implementation of the N30,000 limit across the board.

“Our state cannot be left out,” Dickson said. “What is good for the goose is good for the gander. There is nothing we pay to our hard-working workforce that is too much.”

The Head of Service, Biobelemoye Onyeama, also assured that the modalities for the implementation would be concluded for effective payment from this January.

“It has been approved,” she said. “We are going to work out the details.”

The organised labour, represented by Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress Bayelsa Chapter, John Ndiomu, expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the meeting.

He added that issues of arrears arising from the new payment would be addressed by the incoming Government.

The Dickson administration is set to leave office in February.