Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election, has expressed satisfaction with the supreme court judgement that sacked David Lyon as governor-elect of Bayelsa state.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Lyon winner of the November governorship election.
But on Thursday, a panel of judges led by Mary Odili ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Lyon, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and to re-issue another to the candidate with the second-highest number of votes.
The decision of the apex court was in affirmation of the verdict of a federal high court disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, Lyon’s running mate, for submitting forged credentials to INEC.
The PDP and Douye Diri, its governorship candidate, had filed a suit against Lyon, Degi-Eremienyo and INEC, seeking the disqualification of the APC deputy governorship candidate.
They alleged Degi-Eremienyo gave false information in his CF 0001 form submitted to INEC.
The trial court judge had ruled in favour of the PDP but the appeal court upturned the decision of the trial court and affirmed the candidature of Lyon and Degi-Eremienyo.
Dissatisfied with the verdict, Diri and his party headed to the supreme court.
The apex court set aside the ruling of the appellate court and affirmed the verdict which nullified the candidature of Degi-Eremienyo.
Reacting via Twitter on Thursday, Atiku said he received the news of the judgement with gladness.
He urged the people of Bayelsa to make peace and be united in its mission to transform the state into a haven of prosperity.
He also urged the apex court to show consistency in its judgement and find the resolve to always deliver just judgements “no matter whose ox is gored”.
“I received the verdict of the Supreme Court, declaring the candidate of the @OfficialPDPNig in the Bayelsa state gubernatorial elections, Senator Douye Diri, as the duly elected Governor of the state, with gladness,” Atiku tweeted.
“I call on all the people of Bayelsa to make peace with the recent past and embrace the future together, united in the mission to transform the state into a haven of peace and prosperity.
“Finally, I urge the Supreme Court to show consistency in its judgments & find the resolve to always deliver just-judgments no matter whose ox is gored. The people of Nigeria are behind the apex court in whatever they do to free themselves from the dominance of dictatorial forces.”
Back in January when there was outrage over the replacement of Emeka Ihedioha, a PDP governor, with Hope Uzodinma of APC, Atiku had asked members of his party to accept the judgement on Imo.
“I can only say that since the Supreme Court is final, we must accept its judgment, however unexpected and unpalatable it may be. The Rule of law must guide our paths even if logic sheds light on a different path,” he had said.