Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Bayelsa Government House, Chapel, King of Glory was agog as songs of praise to God rent the air over the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the case filed by Timi Alaibe challenging the candidacy of Governor Douye Diri in the November 2019 Bayelsa governorship election.
Governor Diri represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, led members of the three arms of government in the state to dedicate the victory to God.
Alaibe had gone to court to challenged the validity of the candidacy of Diri in the November 2019 election in Bayelsa.
A five-member panel of the apex court, led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour dismissed the appeal.
Justice Rhodes-Vivour panel informed Alaibe that his case could not be categorised as a pre-election case that a court could entertain but about an internal affair of the party which the court lacked jurisdiction to hear.
Alaibe’s lawyer, Ifedayo Adedipe, withdrew the appeal after the panel members pointed his attention to the fact that the issues raised in the appeal were not about the primary but about an internal affair of the party.
Alaibe, who had earlier lost a similar suit at the Federal High Court and the Court of Appeal, is claiming he is the authentic People’s Democratic Party candidate.
Diri was sworn in on February 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the former governor-elect of the state, David Lyon, and his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.
Lyon’s election was nullified for submitting forged certificates to INEC.
Governor Diri called on Bayelsans, including the opposition to join hands with him in building the state.
Former governor, Seriake Dickson, also congratulated Diri and his deputy, Ewhrudjakpo, on the Supreme Court verdict.
Dickson, in a statement by his Media Advisor, Fidelis Soriwei, said with the verdict, the governor could now focus attention on the effective execution of the mandate given to him by the Bayelsa people without distraction.
He commended the Supreme Court panel for being firm and courageous in defence of the truth, justice, and democratic governance in country.
Dickosn called on Alaibe, whom he described as a brother, friend and respected leader in Bayelsa and the Ijaw nation, to join him and other leaders to galvanise support for Diri to enable him achieve his prosperity agenda for Bayelsa.