Supreme Court Ruling: Why we declared PDP's Diri Bayelsa governor-elect – INECby Cletus Ukpong
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has explained why it has paved the way for the swearing-in of the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Douye Diri, as governor of Bayelsa State after Thursday’s Supreme Court judgment that sacked the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, David Lyon, who won the November governorship election.
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, told journalists Friday in Abuja that Mr Diri has met all the constitutional requirements to become the governor-elect of Bayelsa, with the removal of Mr Lyon and his votes from the election result as ordered by the court.
“Without the votes scored by the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose candidates were deemed not to have participated in the election, the total number of lawful votes cast in the election now stand at 146,999.
“Out of this figure, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172,” Mr Yakubu said.
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“Similarly, the Party (PDP) has scored more than 25 % of the lawful votes cast in all the eight (8) Local Government Areas of the State,” he added.
Mr Yakubu said the candidate of the Accord Party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes, after Mr Diri.
He said the total number of registered voters in places where election was not held or cancelled as a result of sundry violations is 90,822.
“The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With the outcome, the election is conclusive at the first ballot,” the INEC chairman declared.
INEC’s declaration on the spread of the votes scored by Mr Diri has, therefore, put paid to the argument advanced by the APC that the PDP candidate did not meet the constitutional requirement to be declared governor-elect.
With the tenure of the outgoing governor, Seriake Dickson, coming to an end today, Mr Diri is expected to be sworn in some few hours from now as the next governor of Bayelsa State.