Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The hope of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to regain the Nembe/ Brass Federal Constituency seat and the Bayelsa East Senatorial District seat has been dashed as the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the ruling of the Bayelsa Elections Petitions Tribunal which upheld the victory of Hon Israel Sunny-Goli for Nembe/Brass Federal Constituency and Senator Degi-Eremienyo for Bayelsa East.
The Court of Appeal in a unanimous ruling read by Justice Emmanuel Akomaye Agim dismissed the appeal filed by Mrs Maria Ebikake against Hon Sunny-Goli and Hon Blessing Izagara- Ipigansi against Senator Degi- Eremienyo.
The appellate court dismissed the two appeals for lacking in merit and awarded N200, 000 costs against Ebikake to be paid to Hon Sunny-Goli and the Independent National Electoral Commission.
Sunny-Goli in his remarks expressed gratitude to God for the heart-warming verdict given by the Court of Appeal.
He dedicated the judgment to God and the people of Brass-Nembe Federal Constituency who had endured deprivations because of lack of effective representation.
Sunny-Goli who expressed gratitude to the leader of the APC in the state and Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, “for valiantly steering the ship that led us to this blissful victory” also thanked Dr. Dennis Otiotio, and members of the legal team for their conscientious work.
“The Lord was evidently with us throughout the stressful campaigns and also during the elections. Today’s judgement at the appellate court has once again shown that God is truly with us.
“Let me, therefore, use this medium to wholeheartedly thank my followers and indeed the entire good people of Brass-Nembe Federal Constituency for all the support: before, during and after my election into the House of Representatives.
“Needless to say, I remain most grateful and indebted particularly for the patience, understanding and confidence the people have reposed and expressed throughout the entire litigation process that has finally ended today on a good note.
“On this day, I solemnly restate my firm commitment to significantly change the narratives of the Nembe-Brass clime, through effective representation, lawmaking and oversight; with a view to attracting developmental projects to our communities and employments to the teeming unemployed youths.”
Ebikake, however, in her remarks expressed disappointment with the judgment for not taking into account fundamental issues raised in the appeal which border on credible election.
She said the Appeal Court had just shown with the judgement given in favour of Hon Sunny- Goli that the common man does not have hope in the judiciary.