The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has confirmed Governor Douye Diri’s re-election.

Led by Justice Adekunle Adeleye, the three-member panel dismissed the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate, Timipre Sylva.

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In a unanimous ruling, the tribunal stated that the petitioners failed to provide credible evidence to support their claims against the Bayelsa state governorship election results.

The tribunal deemed all additional evidence and witness statements presented by the petitioners as incompetent and struck them out.

According to the tribunal, the law requires that an election petition must be filed no later than 21 days after the election results are announced. Additionally, the petition must include written statements from all intended witnesses at the time of filing.

The tribunal ruled that Sylva and his party’s decision to submit additional evidence and witness statements long after filing the petition was an improper attempt to amend their case.

Furthermore, the tribunal dismissed the allegation that the deputy governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, submitted forged University Degree and National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Exemption Certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to qualify for the election.

The tribunal held that this allegation was a pre-election issue that should have been addressed before the Federal High Court. It added that the matter was now statute-barred since the petitioners did not challenge the authenticity of the certificates within 14 days of their submission to INEC.

The tribunal also noted that Ewhrudjakpo’s educational qualifications had previously been confirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction.

The tribunal acknowledged that Ewhrudjakpo is a legal practitioner and found him fully qualified to contest the election.

Additionally, the tribunal pointed out that while Sylva and his party requested to be declared the valid winners of the governorship election, they also asked for the same election to be declared invalid.

The tribunal found these requests contradictory and noted that Sylva and the APC did not present any electoral materials to prove that irregularities occurred during the election.