Amid ongoing calls for the Judiciary to conclude all cases of election petitions before May 29, 2023, veteran journalist, and political commentator, Nzeh Ezehocha has come out to explain how the Supreme Court speedily concluded a case that led to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governor-elect in Bayelsa, David Lyon's victory being revoked twenty-four hours to his swearing-in ceremony.
Recall that back in February 2020, a five-member panel of the Supreme Court led by Justice Mary Odili, nullified Mr. Lyon's election because his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo presented falsified information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the run-up to the November 2019 gubernatorial election in Bayelsa. Quite interestingly, the court order for INEC to withdraw the Certificate Of Return issued to the APC flag bearer came less than 24 hours before his supposed swearing-in ceremony as Executive Governor of the State.
While appearing in an interview on Africa Independent Television's 'Kaakaki' program on Friday, May 5, 2023, Ezehocha, who is the Assistant Editor of the New National Star Newspaper, argued that the speed with which the Judiciary used to conclude the case in Bayelsa at the time, could also be applied in delivering judgment on the matters of election petitions before anybody is sworn into office on May 29.
He said; "If you look at these calls for speedy court judgments, we can go back and borrow a leaf from the case of David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress. The APC candidate, who was initially declared the winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa by INEC, was sacked before his inauguration. He was busy rehearsing his swearing-in ceremony at the Samson Siasia Stadium when the Supreme Court judgment came. This happened just twenty-four hours before his inauguration.
And if it is the same Electoral Act that gave a timeline for candidates and their political parties to file their petitions, then why can't the same process be taken to ensure that these cases are resolved before Inauguration? If the Tribunal has found it expedient to insist that aggrieved candidates must file their petitions within a certain time or risk losing their rights to challenge an election result, then why can't the same Judiciary see to it that cases are concluded before someone is sworn-into office?"
SOURCE: YouTube (Forward video to 1:16:09).
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