Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued certificate of return to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Bayelsa State governorship election, Douye Diri, declaring him winner of the poll.
Announcing the winner, the Commission’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, said that he scored the highest number of valid votes cast during the poll, with a total votes of 143,172 out of the 146,999.
He also announced that having met the 2/3 constitutional spread required with a margin deference that concluded the poll at first ballot, the PDP candidate has been declared winner.
“As you are aware, the Supreme Court of Nigeria on Thursday delivered a judgement in a pre-election suit on the Bayelsa State governorship election held on November 16, 2019. The Commission has received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement of the apex court which disqualified the Deputy Governorship candidate and vitiated the joint ticket of the party earlier declared winner in the election.
“The Court also ordered the Commission to ‘…declare as winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa State the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast with the requisite constitutional (or geographical spread).
“In compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the Commission met this morning and reviewed the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested.
“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 and valid votes cast in the election now stand at 146,999.
“Out of this figure, the candidate of the PDP scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172. Similarly, the party has scored more than 25 per cent of the lawful votes cast in all the eight Local Government Areas of the State.
“Furthermore, 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 candidate of the Accord Party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes.
“The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With this outcome, the election is conclusive at first ballot.
“Consequently, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected as Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State respectively.
“The detailed result will be shared with you at this briefing and uploaded on the Commission’s website and social media platforms shortly.
“The Commission is aware that the tenure of the incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State ends at midnight today Friday February 14, 2020. Therefore, in fulfilment of the requirement of Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) the Certificates of Return to the Governor and Deputy Govemor-elect will be presented to them immediately as ordered by the Supreme Court,” he said.
Responding shortly after issuing him certificate of return by National Commissioner in charge of South/South, Mrs May Agbamuche-Mbu, Douye, said that it was victory for the judiciary and democracy in Nigeria.
“Our gratitude is to the creator, God Almighty who has made today possible. I want to appreciate the Chairman, Commissioners and all other staffers of INEC. I will not forget those who God have used for us to be here today- the judiciary which is the last hope of the common man,” he noted, promising to reconcile all the aggrieved persons in the state.