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Bayelsa guber: APC to close case against Gov Diri’s re-election next week

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Governor Diri’s re-election case against APC to be concluded next week

The APC will conclude its case challenging the re-election of Governor Duoye Diri in Bayelsa State next week. On Thursday, the party and its gubernatorial candidate, Timipre Sylva, presented additional witnesses to support their claim that Diri did not win the majority of lawful votes. INEC had declared Diri and the PDP as winners of the election, with the ruling party winning the majority of the votes cast.

The returning officer, Professor Faruq Kuta, announced that PDP and Diri had garnered 175,196 votes, defeating their closest rival, Timiprey Sylva of APC, who received 110,108 votes. Dissatisfied with the outcome, Sylva and APC brought their case to the tribunal.

During the February 14 hearing, the petitioners revealed their intention to call at least 224 witnesses to support their allegations. However, after calling four witnesses on Thursday, they requested an adjournment to call more witnesses, which was granted. The continuation of the trial is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday next week.

Following the conclusion of the petitioners’ case, the defendants, including INEC, Governor Diri, Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrujakpo, and PDP, will present their defense. The petitioners are asking the tribunal to declare that the election was not conducted in some polling units and that a winner was wrongfully declared. They claim that if the cancelled results were reinstated, they would emerge as the true winners of the election.

The respondents, especially INEC, contend that the election in certain local governments did not take place due to alleged diversions of materials and disruptions of the electoral process. They presented evidence to refute the petitioners’ claims, including Form EC40G and certified true copies of the results.

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