Bayelsa Election: Supreme Court Dismisses Timi Alaibe’s Appeal Challenging Duoye Diri’s Candidacy

File Photo: Timi Alaibe (left) and Douye Diri (right).

 

The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal filed by a former aspirant of the Bayelsa governorship election under the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Timi Alaibe, challenging the candidacy of Duoye Diri in the November 2019 election.

Alaibe who had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal is claiming that he is the authentic candidate of the PDP.

But the court dismissed the case on Tuesday, on the ground that it was a pre-election matter.

Governor Duoye Diri

 

Governor Duoye Diri was sworn in on February 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon, and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

Lyon’s election was nullified for submitting forged certificates to INEC.

A file photo of the nullified Bayelsa State Governor-elect, David Lyon.

 

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

A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, thereafter, 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 as the winner of the November 16, 2019 governorship election.

INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, addressing a press conference in Abuja on February 14, 2020. Photos: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

 

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.

Diri was then sworn-in along with his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.

Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) receives the Certificate of Return as the governor-elect of Bayelsa State at the INEC headquarters in Abuja on February 14, 2020. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Bayelsa Election: Appeal Court Dismisses Timi Alaibe’s Suit Against Diri

 

An Appeal Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State on Tuesday dismissed a suit filed by the former Bayelsa governorship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Timi Alaibe against the state governor, Duoye Diri.

Mr. Alaibe is challenging the emergence of Diri as the legitimate winner of the PDP primaries held on September 3, 2019, which also produced him as the governor of the state.

READ ALSO: Bayelsa Governorship Election: Court Dismisses Alaibe’s Suit Against Diri

The former governor aspirant had dragged Douye Diri and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court over what he described as a ‘flawed process’ of the PDP primary.

But a Federal High Court in Owerri had on March 10, 2020, dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.

The court noted that the PDP followed all the constitutional requirements to conduct the primary and subsequent emergence of Diri as the rightful candidate of the party.

Bayelsa Governorship Election: Court Dismisses Alaibe’s Suit Against Diri

File Photo: Timi Alaibe

 

The Federal High Court in Owerri, Imo State has dismissed a suit filed by the former Bayelsa governorship aspirant in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Timi Alaibe challenging the emergence of the state governor, Duoye Diri as the legitimate winner of the PDP primaries held on September 3, 2019.

Mr Alaibe had dragged Douye Diri and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to court over what he described as a ‘flawed process’ of the PDP primary.

Read Also: Douye Diri Sworn In As Bayelsa Governor

But the court dismissed the suit for lacking in merit, adding that the PDP followed all the constitutional requirements to conduct the primary and subsequent emergence of Diri as the rightful candidate of the party.

The trial judge, Justice Tijani Rigim also ruled that Mr Alaibe shouldn’t have even approached the court in the first instance since PDP had met all the requirements.

Alaibe Pulls Out Of Bayelsa Governorship Race

timi aligbeAPC Governorship aspirant and former Managing Director of the NDDC, Mr. Timi Alaibe has pulled out of the race to become the flag bearer for the APC in the Bayelsa State governorship.

A statement signed by Mr Alaibe says he pulling out to avoid a situation of crisis that the PDP might reap from.

“I am not oblivious of the fundamental fact that we all need a virile, united, cohesive and collaborative APC to bring about our desires to fruition. Not only do we need this, APC deserves every sacrifice, including personal interests, to arrive at the envisaged destination come February, 2016.”

“Whereas I am confident that I have the required support of my admirers and supporters as well as the needed backing of Bayelsans to govern them, the hurdles set on the way of this noble project are seemingly tempestuous and capable of overheating the APC in Bayelsa.”

Mr Alaibe believes that the virtuous path is sacrificed for the common good, whether for the APC or the state in general.

Gunmen Hijack APC Governorship Primaries In Bayelsa

bayelsaPandemonium broke out on Tuesday morning in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, as gunmen and suspected cultists hijacked the governorship primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

19 aspirants were expected to contest in the primaries, but trouble broke out when the former Governor of the state and party leader, Timipre Sylva, suddenly picked up a form and joined the race.

The Governor of Edo State, Adams Oshiomhole, who conducted the primaries, had ordered the arrest of Mr Fortune Panabi, the Publicity Secretary of the APC in the state, for allegedly accrediting unknown delegates for the exercise.

However, three of the aspirants, Timi Alaibe, Editimi Angbare and Priye Aganaba, called for a shift in the exercise, saying that the atmosphere was not conducive for a proper primary to hold.

Governor Oshiomhole is, nonetheless, expected to announce the way forward after meeting with the aspirants and delegates.

NBA Debars Four, Suspends One Over ‘Infamous Misconduct’

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has debarred four legal practitioners for misconduct contrary to the rules of legal practice.

The association also suspended one of its members from practice for a period of five years for a similar offence.

The Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) found the lawyers culpable of offences ranging from fraudulent land sales, concealment of recovered debt and extortion using blackmail.

The Chairman of the committee, Mr. Joseph Daudu warned legal practitioners  bringing “ridicule and disgrace to the legal profession”.

Those debarred include Timipa Okponipere, Anozie Ibebunjo, G.C Monyei , J.A Agwuncha ,while Olawale –Ojongo-Daniels  was suspended for five years.

Though none of the accused persons was at the proceedings, their absence did not stop the legal practitioners from handing down the punishment.

One of the accused persons, one Timipa Okponipere was said to have tried to extort the sum of N40 million from the former managing director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Timi Alaibe for unsolicited nomination for the national merit award, an offence contrary to the rules of practice in Nigeria.

While Mr.  Monyei , who acted as a debt receiver for a company, failed to return the proceeds of  the recovery to its owners and Ojongo-Daniels  was found guilty of receiving money from a client and refused to represent the client in court nor did he refund the money.

Having found all the accused persons culpable of the offences against them, the committee directed the chief registrar of the Supreme Court to debar four of the accused persons for misconduct as lawyers, while Mr Olawale Ojongo-Daniels be suspended from practice for five years.

Over time the general belief is that corruption among legal practitioners has been on the rise, and, it is hoped that steps such as this one will serve as checks for legal practitioners in the country.