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.

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: 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.”

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.

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.

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

 

Some members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital on Friday occupied the streets and the Government House protesting the Supreme Court ruling which sacked the party’s elected candidate.

The protesters, mostly women, and youths, also blocked some of the roads and made bonfires.

Waving APC flags and bearing placards the protesters chanted songs of solidarity and describe the court ruling as injustice.

READ ALSO: INEC Declares PDP’s Douye Diri Winner Of Bayelsa Election

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

The Supreme court in a ruling on Thursday sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment said the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo is disqualified as a candidate in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

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

The five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili then ordered the INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the APC candidate.

INEC Declares PDP’s Douye Diri Winner Of Bayelsa Election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri, as the winner of the Bayelsa election.

The INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, who made this announcement on Friday at the INEC headquarters in Abuja said the certificate of return will be issued immediately to the winner.

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

Yakubu while briefing journalists at the INEC Headquarters confirmed receiving the true certified judgement of the court.

According to him, the commission met on Friday morning to review the results of the election, without the votes of the APC which have been voided by the court.

The total votes cast after excluding those of the APC now stand at 146,999. PDP polled 143,172 and scored 25 percent as required by the law.

As at the time of this report, Senator Diri is in the conference room set to receive his certificate of return.

He is accompanied by dozens of his supporters, including some leaders of the PDP.

 

See photos of the INEC Chairman and senior officials of the Commission during the briefing…

 

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:

 

 

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

 

The Supreme Court has sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

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 to the All Progressives Congress’ candidate as the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.

The Apex Court 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 are the Peoples Democratic Party.

READ ALSO: Sowore, Bakare Plead ‘Not Guilty’ To Treasonable Felony Charges

Justice Ejembi Ekwo, who read the lead judgment made the orders after disqualifying the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election.

The court upheld the November 12, 2019 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which had disqualified Degi-Eremienyo in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

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

The five-man panel further held that on the basis that both candidates and their party, the APC ought to have abstained from participating in the election.

‘Power Belongs To The People,’ Atiku Reacts To Supreme Court Verdict On Bayelsa Poll

 

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, Atiku Abubakar, has described the Supreme Court’s declaration of Douye Diri as the govenor-elect of Bayelsa State as an indication that power belongs to the people.

The Supreme Court had on Thursday, sacked David Lyon and Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo as the governor-elect and deputy-governor elect of the oil-rich state respectively.

While reacting to the verdict, Atiku in a statement on his Twitter handle, expressed joy at the court’s declaration.

READ ALSO: PDP Members Jubilate In Bayelsa After Supreme Court Verdict

Atiku stated that the ruling is a confirmation of the peoples mandate on Diri and the PDP, adding that he is confident the incoming leader would do well.

“I received the verdict of the Supreme Court, declaring the candidate of the PDP in the Bayelsa state gubernatorial elections, Senator Douye Diri, as the duly elected Governor of the state, with gladness,” he noted.

According to him, “Senator Douye Diri had cause to visit with me before the elections and received my blessings and counsel. I am fully satisfied that he has what it takes to make Bayelsa the ‘glory of all lands’. His intellect, personality and character, are a credit to Bayelsa and the PDP.”

He advised Douye to use the “opportunity to show Nigerians that power belongs to the people, and we must make good use of this opportunity.”

Furthermore, the former Vice President called on the people in Bayelsa to back their new leader to bringing development and prosperity to the state, as he lauded the Supreme Court for showing “consistency in its judgments.”

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

The court 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 are the PDP’s.