BEVERLY HILLS, JULY 27, (THEWILL) – The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Pettition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday upheld the election of Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, noting that the All Progressives Congress, APC, failed to prove its case.
The APC and its candidate, Timipre Sylva, had challenged the election of Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, seeking a reversal of the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which declared him as the valid winner of the election.
But the three-man tribunal led by Justice Kazeem Aloba, in a unanimous decision on Tuesday, dismissed Sylva’s petition and upheld Dickson’s election as earlier declared by INEC.
Reacting to the ruling, Dickson applauded it, saying the Judgment is “a victory for democracy and Bayelsans.” He commended the Judiciary “for upholding our nation’s democracy and once again acquitting itself as the bastion of our democracy.”
In a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the governor praised the people of Bayelsa for voting for him and his party on conviction and stood to protect their votes.
He regretted the loss of lives and property during the election, decried the “intimidation of voters” attributing it to failure of institution.
Dickson, however, said the judgment indicated that “the resolve of the people did not go in vain” as he canvassed for “greater vigilance to protect democracy” in the country.
“We want to use this opportunity to thank the good people of Bayelsa State for voting en-masse for the PDP and defending their votes even in the face of such virulent intimidation and harassment. This judgment is clearly a victory for democracy and the resilient and courageous people of Bayelsa,” he said.
Dickson further commended the judiciary for its role as the defender of the constitution, saying that without a fearless and independent judiciary, democracy is imperiled.
While stating that it was not the election that was on trial per se but the judiciary itself, he stressed that the judgment of the tribunal validated the saying that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man.