From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
There was wild jubilation in the camp of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Bayelsa State as the Court removed the legal impediments that would have bar the party’s candidates in Bayelsa West and Central to contest Saturday’s senatorial bye-election.
The Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa had in two separate judgments by Justice Jane Inyang disqualified APC Bayelsa West candidate, Peremobowei Ebebi from contesting the election owning to allegations of fraud and non-compliance with laid down procedures of the APC for conducting primary election.
Consequently the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) relying on the judgment with suit numbers FHC/YNC/CS/60/2020/ and FHC/YNC/CS/66/ 2020 struck the name of APC and its candidates from the list of those to contest.
The PDP has used the judgments to mock the APC saying that it presented unqualified candidate for the senatorial election.
However a special panel of the Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Wednesday overruled the objection of the defendant and stayed execution of the judgment until the substantive suit is held.
The three –man panel of Judges held that “Ebebi remains innocent of fraud. There was no finding by the trial Court that he committed fraud”
The Court thereby granted the motion for stay for execution of judgment which effectively paved the way for Ebebi to contest Saturday’s election.
In the other case against the APC Bayelsa Central candidate, Chief Abel Ebifemowei, the Federal High Court in Yenagoa struck the case brought by Henry Ofongo seeking to disqualify him from the elections.
Speaking in an interview, Ebebi commended the judiciary for staying firm noting all obstacles against his contesting has been removed.
According to him he is going to be on the ballot and with the backing of God and the people of Bayelsa West he is going to come out victorious.