Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, has affirmed Bayelsa State governor-elect David Lyon as the winner of the September 4, 2019, All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries.
The Court set aside a Federal High Court ruling of November 16 which nullified the APC governorship primary election for not following the laid down guidelines of the party.
The Appeal Court held that the Bayelsa State APC governorship primary election was conducted on September 4 and that Chief David Lyon contested the Bayelsa State APC governorship primary election and won in the contest.
The Court struck out an appeal filed by the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Heineken Lokpobiri, over the conduct of the primary which saw Lyon emerge as party candidate for the state governorship election.
The three-panel of justices, which began reading of the three appeals – namely CA/PH/575/2019, CA/PH/585/2019 and CA/PH/586/2019 – before 10 am, struck out Lokpobiri’s case for being statute-barred.
Brass-Nembe House of Representatives Member, Hon. Israel Sunny-Goli, in a statement, has congratulated Lyon on his victory at the Court, saying that ruling was a victory for democracy.
“Today’s victory at the Appeal Court is a victory for democracy and a good omen for Bayelsa State, as it has affirmed not only the collective decision of the Bayelsa APC faithful but also that of all well-meaning Bayelsans who gave their mandate to Lyon in the just-concluded gubernatorial election.”
The lawmaker commended the Nigeria Judiciary for dispensing justice when it mattered most, adding that, “the judgement have further shown the credibility and integrity of members of the Bench, and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration’s desire to nurture democracy to its fullest.”
Sunny-Goli urged fellow party members who may still be dissatisfied with the internal party process which brought in Lyon to accept the decision of the Court and join hands with Lyon to move the state forward.