Senator Douye Diri whose victory as Governor of Bayelsa State was quashed Monday by the Election Petitions Tribunal is fighting back.
He has filed a 12-point appeal in which he is asking the Court of Appeal in Abuja to dismiss the majority decision of the Tribunal which kicked him out of office.
He is also asking the Court of Appeal to uphold the minority decision of the same tribunal which found no merit in a petition filed against him.
The Advance Party, a relatively unknown political party, had claimed in its petition before the tribunal that it was unlawfully and unfairly excluded from the ballot by INEC.
The party urged the tribunal to set aside INEC’s disqualification of its candidates and order fresh elections.
Diri told his support base, which includes members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, ithat he was still a governor with a right to appeal against what he described as the ruling of the court of first instance.
Under the law, the tribunal has all the powers of a high court save that its decisions are strictly restricted to election related matters only.
Tuesday, Diri headed for the Court of Appeal where he hopes to overturn the ruling of the court below.
Recall that the Tribunal had in a split decision nullified the last election and directed INEC to hold fresh elections within 90 days.
In Bayelsa where the APC white washed the PDP, sweeping six out of eight local government areas in the last elections, there were wild celebrations.
Members of the APC took to the streets Monday to jubilate as news of Diri’s defeat at the tribunal spread like bushfire.
We have learnt Diri’s lawyers who swiftly went into action soon after the ruling succeeded under 24 hours to transmit all necessary materials as required by law in order to file the appeal.
There are strong indications that Governor Diri is ready to fight all the way to the Supreme Court.
The Apex Court had ruled against the APC because of the qualification pleaded by its Deputy Governor elect which were materially irregular.
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