The Supreme Court, yesterday, sacked the governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.
The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-man panel of Justices led by Justice Mary Odili, held that Degi-Eremieoyo presented a forged certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
It held that the Form CF 001 Degi-Eremieoyo submitted to INEC for the purpose of the November 16, 2019, governorship election in the state, contained false information of fundamental nature.
Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the lead judgement, reinstated the November 12, 2019, judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja that disqualified Degi-Eremieoyo from participating in the governorship poll.
The apex court held that since Degi-Eremieoyo shared a joint ticket with the governor-elect, his disqualification invalidated their nomination by the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Consequently, it ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return that was issued to them, and issue a fresh one to the party that secured the second highest number of votes and got the required constitutional spread in the election.
The judgment followed an appeal that was filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), its governorship and deputy governorship candidates in Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri and Lawrence Ewhruojakpo.
Reacting to the Supreme Court ruling which nullified the election of Bayelsa State Governor-Elect, David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, congratulated the party over the ruling, and described the verdict as victory of democracy and rule of law over impunity and tyranny.
Ologbondiyan, in a tweet, wrote: “Congratulations to the PDP family.”
Reacting to the judgement, Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the party, Diran Odeyemi, said the development is a confirmation of the truism that indeed, the judiciary remains the last hope of the common man.
According to him, judges sitting in other election disputes have a lot to learn from the Justice Mary Odili-led panel which directed the issuance of a certificate of return to the PDP governorship candidate, Senator Duoye Diri, adding that courage is what distinguishes a great judge in the pack.
“We want to salute the Justices for upholding the rule of law. They have demonstrated that there are still good judges in our country. We won the election and the learned justices have now proven that.
“I heard that some people are saying we should forget Imo now that we have gotten Bayelsa but that is not the way to go. What we are asking for in the case of Imo is a review of the apex court’s judgment and we know there is a window of hope that the right thing will be done.
“We congratulate our governor-elect and we are looking forward to working with him in his quest to further consolidate on the legacies of the outgoing governor,” he said.
Similarly, following the sack of Bayelsa governor-elect, David Lyon and his Deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo by the apex court, the presidential candidate of the PDP in the last general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said that Nigerians are solidly behind Supreme Court in their verdicts.
Atiku, who congratulated Senator Douye Diri, the newly declared winner of Bayelsa gubernatorial election, advised the apex court to show consistency in its judgments.
Atiku opined: “I received the verdict of the Supreme Court, declaring the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the Bayelsa state gubernatorial elections, Senator Douye Diri, as the duly elected Governor of the state, with gladness.
“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.
“I congratulate Senator Douye Diri and his running mate, Mr. Lawrence Ewhrujakpor. I also felicitate with the Peoples Democratic Party. The Lords Justices have given us another opportunity to show Nigerians that power belongs to the people, and we must make good use of this opportunity.
“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 and 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.”
In his reaction, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike called on the Federal Government to warn the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, to stop making inflammatory remarks capable of destabilising the country.
Wike also berated the APC national chairman for saying that there will be no swearing-in of the PDP candidate in Bayelsa State, saying he has no such powers.
He said: “The Federal Government should warn Oshiomhole to stop making remarks that will destabilise Nigeria.
“What he is doing in Edo State is not proper, and he should not bring it to the rest of the Niger Delta.”
He said that Oshiomhole lacks the power to make pronouncements after the Supreme Court has ruled on the Bayelsa matter.
“Who is Oshiomhole to determine who has spread in a state? Supreme Court has made a ruling. It is unfortunate for Oshiomhole to come forward to say that nobody will be sworn in”, he said.
He said that Oshiomhole was making unguarded statements because he has lost the support of APC governors; hence he wants to curry favour through careless talks.
He said: “It is most unfortunate what Oshiomhole is doing because he wants to retain his position as national chairman. APC governors have rejected him, that is why he is struggling to prove that he is fighting for the party.
“He is making statements as if he owns the country. This is the same way he is carrying on in Edo State fighting the governor.
“He believes that he has the forces to cause crisis. He is arrogating powers to himself, which is not good”, he said.
Wike described Oshiomhole as a man who preaches one thing, then goes ahead to practise a different thing.
He said the situation in Edo State has exposed Adams Oshiomhole as a godfather who once preached against godfathers.
He said Oshiomhole would not be allowed to destroy the Niger Delta, adding that the rule of law must continue to prevail at all times.
Also, the Delta State Governor, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa, congratulated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the Supreme Court ruling sacking Bayelsa governor-elect, Mr David Lyon and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, Okowa described the ruling as a welcomed development for the PDP and its candidates in the governorship race, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpor.
He stated that his confidence in the Judiciary had been rekindled by the didactic ruling of the apex court.
He urged PDP and the governor-elect to take steps to reconcile all stakeholders in Bayelsa in order to strengthen the party for future elections.
“The news of the Supreme Court ruling on the Bayelsa governorship election came to me with joy, because we have been writhing in pain on the loss of Bayelsa to the APC in the last governorship election in the state.
“We are happy because the Supreme Court has once again restored the confidence of the people in the judiciary.
“This victory is a clarion call on the party and the governor-elect to take steps to reconcile all aggrieved party members who defected or worked against the party in the November16, 2019 Governorship Election in the state.
“This is very important, because there is need to rebuild the confidence of the people in our party, going forward,’’ the governor said.
“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate our great party, the PDP, on the victory at the Supreme Court.
“It is my prayer that God will usher in a new lease of life for Bayelsans as a new administration takes over in the state.
“I also congratulate my brother Governor, Hon Seriake Dickson, for a successful tenure in office”, he added.
Nonetheless, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has declared its readiness to act on the Supreme Court judgement sacking Bayelsa State Governor-elect, David Lyon, and his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo but cannot do so now.
Reason: It is yet to get the court order sacking the APC candidates, who would have been sworn-in today.
The INEC said it would act on the judgment of the Supreme Court directing it to withdraw the Certificate of Return it issued the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC in Bayelsa State, Chief David Lyon.
INEC, however, said it was yet to be served with a copy of the judgment as at Thursday afternoon.
“I am not sure the commission has been served with the judgment of the Supreme Court yet. I will keep you posted”, Chief Press Secretary to the INEC Chairman, Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi said.
Also, INEC National Commissioner and Chairman of its Information and Voter Education Committee, Barrister Festus Okoye said the commission would check its record to see which party came second in the election with a view to issuing its candidate a Certificate of Return.
He said INEC would carry out the judgement of the Supreme Court.
“We would do that when we get the judgement of the Supreme Court so that we would know clearly what the Supreme Court want us to do and we would carry it out”, he said.
Lyon polled 352,552 votes to defeat his closest rival and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Duoye Diri, who scored 143,172 votes.
Few days to the election, the PDP and its candidate secured a court order disqualifying Degi-Eremieoyo but the appeal court cleared the APC candidate to run.
However, the Supreme Court, Thursday, held that the Form CF 001 Degi-Eremieoyo submitted to INEC for the purpose of November 16, 2019, governorship election contained false information of fundamental nature.
Justice Ejembi Eko, who delivered the lead judgement reinstated November 12, 2019, Judgement of the Federal High Court in Abuja that disqualified Degi-Eremieoyo from participating in the governorship poll.
The apex court held that since Degi-Eremieoyo shared a joint ticket with the governor-elect, his disqualification invalidated their nomination by the APC.
Consequently, it ordered INEC to immediately withdraw the Certificate of Return that was issued to them and issue a fresh one to the party that secured the second-highest number of votes and got the required constitutional spread.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa & Albert Ograka, Asaba
Rise Up Against Herdsmen, Danjuma Tells Nigerians …Says Meyitti Allah Determines What Happens In Presidency …Army Working With Buhari To Grab Lands, Give Same To Fulanis
Elder statesman and retired military general, Theophillus Danjuma, say herdsmen have declared war against Nigeria and grabbing lands, urging citizens from every part of the country to rise up and defend themselves before it is too late.
The elder statesman, in a statement obtained by The Tide, yesterday, alleged that the Army was working with President Muhammadu Buhari to grab lands from its original owners in the North, South, East and West and give same to Fulanis from West Africa and beyond.
It further said that while the rest of Nigerians were crying helplessly, Buhari’s primary objective was “to use the Nigerian Armed Forces, Boko Haram and herdsmen to fight jihad and massacre the indigenous people, and take over our lands and give to Fulanis”, saying that fight has started.
It reads, “The Nigerian Army under Buratai is working with President Buhari to grab lands from indigenous Nigerian owners and give it to Fulanis from West Africa and turn indigenous Nigerian people and land to modern-day Fulani colony.
“Rise and defend your land now, rise now before it is too late. No election until this Fulani killing is stopped and lands grabbed restored back to the people, and the criminals identified, arrested and punished according to law of the land. This pogrom must stop, yes, it must be stopped. We did not elect them to murder us.
“It is a big shame to about 165million indigenous Nigerians from predominantly Hausa North, Middle Belt, Igbo East and Yoruba West to allow; only three million Fulanis (who are Arab Africans) we accommodated to take over Nigeria, and be killing everybody in the name of herdsmen and Boko Haram, and take over our ancestral lands.
“Big shame to the rest of the people crying like fools. President Buhari’s primary objective to use Nigerian Armed Forces, Boko Haram and herdsmen to fight jihad and massacre the indigenous people and take over our lands and give to Fulanis have started. They have conquered Hausa, they lost who they are, now, they are fighting and killing people across Middle Belt (Kogi, Taraba, Plateau, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Borno, Benue etc) sacking them from their communities, and Presidency protecting and arming the murderers.
“They have conquered South-West by half through Tinubu dynasty, after Middle Belt, they planned to work over South-West to gather strength to fight the South-South and South-East. This will be the battle of Armageddon. It is a shame for indigenous Hausa, Igala, Tiv warriors, Idoma, Igbo, Yoruba, Calabar, Kalabari, Benin, Ishan, Urobo etc to name but few to seat and watch Buhari destroy and turn Nigeria to Fulani colony.
“This is a war against 165million Nigerians declared by three million Fulanis headed by Buhari. It is time to rise and stop Buhari and his gang of murderers called Fulani herdsmen. He is their patron and his loyalty goes to the Fulanis in West Africa and Arabs.
“If you are a soldier, police, members of National Assembly, professor, academicians, governors, from these indigenous 165million being used by Buhari to destroy your ancestral inheritance and your people, you should be shamed and do everything now to stop Buhari.
“Because in the end, after using you to destroy your people, you yourself will be destroyed. We must all say no to Fulani herdsmen destruction now and stop them. Miyetti Allah now determines what happens in the Presidency. They warn constitutionally elected governors of states and threaten destruction and Nigerian Army supports them.
“This is not about politics, its pogrom and ethnic cleansing by Buhari and his gangs. Let the indigenous Nigerians rise now, and say enough is enough. Our soldiers should refuse Buhari and Buratai’s command and secure their people.
“Senate and House of Representatives should stand up to their duties and stop this evil before Buhari destroys every one. Enough is enough. We are tired of mass burials of innocent people from across Middle Belt killed and murdered by Meyitti Allah and Fulani herdsmen and their land stolen and renamed.
“It is time to rise up boldly against these killings and land grabbing, and let us all say ‘no to grazing route’ and planned illegal land grabbing by Federal Government to give herdsmen in the name of open grazing and ranching. Ranching should be a private business, not government business. Let us all throw away our divisions and fight this war, unleashed on indigenous Nigerians by President Buhari and his Fulani herdsmen which he is their life patron,” Danjuma said.
He further said the Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram were not tax payers, saying, “They are foreigners – Arab Africans. This is more than religion. Both indigenous Christians and Muslims are massacred under the supervision of President Buhari. It is land grabbing”, he added.
Rivers Remains My Top Priority, Wike Affirms …Lauds One Million Youths For Contributions To Poll Victory
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has reiterated his commitment to the development of the state, saying that Rivers State remains his top priority at all time.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the leadership of One Million Youths for New Rivers State at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said that he was working to place Rivers State at the top.
He said: “My commitment is to Rivers State. My focus is on whatever will make Rivers State to be a leader amongst the comity of states.
“We are working to have a positive impact on the lives of the people of Rivers State, to make sure that we have to protect the interest of Rivers State”.
The governor noted that his commitment to Rivers State is beyond political consideration.
“No party is above the interest of Rivers State. Any party without the interest of Rivers State, will not have any connection with me. That does not mean that I don’t have the interest of my party, but Rivers State is paramount.”
Wike assured youths that many of them will be captured in the next set of appointments by his administration.
He charged the youths to remain loyal and not allow busy body politicians mislead them.
“Loyalty by the stomach is not full loyalty. I urge you to remain faithful to the state. Don’t allow busy body politicians to make you do what you are not supposed to do”, he said.
He appreciated the contributions of the leadership and membership of the One Million Youths for New Rivers State to his re-election.
He said that the support of the group is in the interest of Rivers State, and urged the members to remain focused on the growth of the state.
On the next governor of Rivers State, Wike said that only a prepared and determined leader will emerge, adding that only those with the capacity to lead will win the governorship seat of the state
In his remarks, the National Coordinator of One Million Youths for New Rivers State and Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Ehie Edison berated members of the APC for attacking the Abuja residence of Dr Peter Odili.
He said that the vision of the One Million Youths for New Rivers State was beyond elections, hence they are working to empower youths.
“The vision of One Million Youths for New Rivers State is beyond elections, it is centred around improving the leadership skills of Rivers youths from secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
“In practical demonstration, we immediately launched N2million youth empowerment scheme to 10 youths from two separate local government areas at N200,000 per person, solely for small scale business support”, he said.
Edison also noted that the group has created an education and health department to cater for the needs of registered members.
The group called on the Rivers State governor to support them with additional funds to empower more youths across the 23 local government areas of the state, explaining that the group will follow the direction of the governor for the 2023 elections.
He said: “As 2023 approaches, One Million Youths for New Rivers State will not be engaged in political projects whatsoever, for now. Our interest is in your direction and instruction. You have given Rivers State, a sense of purpose, sacrifice and vision. Only those certified under your leadership will get our support irrespective of personal relationship.”
Edison lauded Rivers State governor for transforming Rivers State into the Headquarters of projects and construction.
He also commended the Rivers State governor for empowering youths through appointments, political placements and contracts.
The deputy speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly urged the Rivers State governor to seek higher office to contribute to the transformation of Nigeria.
Buhari Recognises Kyari As ‘Deputy President’ -Ex-Emir
Former Emir of Gwandu, Major Mustapha Jokolo (rtd), has alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari recognises his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari as “deputy president.”
Gwandu was reacting to the face-off between the National Security Adviser (NSA), Babangana Monguno and Kyari over the coordination of the country’s security.
He urged Buhari to sack both Monguno and Kyari for being “greedy and selfish” in the discharge of their duties.
The former Aide-De-Camp to Buhari during the President’s military regime stated while featuring on a radio programme in Kaduna.
Jokolo reminded both Kyari and Monguno that Nigeria was greater than any individual; hence they should remember that all was watching.
He said: “The misunderstanding between them was borne out of greed, selfishness, if not, these two are brothers. They are all Muslims and from the same tribe. President Buhari had brought them to assist him in different roles, why then should there be any conflict of roles?
“Truly, General Munguno had complained, but he did not refer his complaints to the right people. He should have written directly to President Buhari, on how he felt about his Chief of Staff. This is because Buhari tends to recognize his Chief of Staff as his ‘Deputy President.
“Buhari had said everything should be done through the Chief of Staff, this implies that Buhari has given him limitless power and he can do anything. But this is a misnomer.”
It would be recalled that a circular from the office of the NSA had a few days ago alleged that Kyari had hijacked the coordination of security leadership in Nigeria.
In the circular, Monguno had alleged that Buhari’s Chief of Staff had sidelined him in making strategic decisions in national security operations.
Meanwhile, a chieftain of Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, has described President Muhammadu Buhari as an “illiterate” who does not know what restructuring means.
Adebanjo said Buhari’s illiteracy was taking Nigeria back to the dark ages by refusing to implement resolutions on how to restructure the country.
The Afenifere chieftain decried that the country has not been lucky in electing the right political leaders since the return of democracy in 1999.
He spoke at a lecture titled: ‘Restructuring: Building a Knowledge-Based Economy’, organised by the Voice of Reason in honour of her Founder, late Prince Goke Omisore in Lagos, yesterday.
Adebanjo also stated that Buhari was less-concerned about the future of Nigeria.
According to Adebanjo: “Despite far-reaching resolutions submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari on how to restructure Nigeria politically, economically and socially, Buhari is less-concerned because he does not know what restructuring means.
“President Buhari is an illiterate, he does not know what restructuring means, he is less concerned about the future of Nigeria, he is only bothered about his cows.”
The elder statesman urged youths in the country to form a movement that would ensure they regain power from the old generation.
“I am 92 now; I want to challenge the younger generation to take their destiny into their hands.
“There is little to what I can do, the energy is no longer there.
“I want you to take the bull by the horn, take Nigeria back from the hands of your oppressors and build a society that will make you proud among your fellow young people in the global economy,” he said.
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