The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, says nobody should be sworn in as the new governor of Bayelsa State on Friday.
Mr Oshiomhole spoke after the Supreme Court sacked David Lyon of the APC as the governor-elect of the state and asked INEC to declare the candidate of the party with the next highest number of votes and required constitutional spread as the winner of the state’s governorship election.
He hinged his statement on the condition added by the apex court, which instructed the electoral body to declare the party with the highest number of lawful votes and geographical spread as the winner.
Mr Oshiomhole, at a press briefing at the party’s secretariat in Abuja shortly after the court verdict on Thursday, said only the APC candidate met the “desired spread as expressed by the Supreme Court.
“PDP candidate does not have one-quarter of the total lawful votes cast in that election in two-thirds of the eight local government areas in Bayelsa State,” he added.
Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) came second in the November 16 governorship election with 143,172 votes, while Mr Lyon garnered 352,552 votes.
The APC candidate also won in six out of the eight local government areas in the state while Mr Diri won in only two.
However, the constitutional requirement for a winner of a governorship election is having the highest number of lawful votes and securing 25 per cent of votes in two-thirds of the local governments in a state. Mr Diri of the PDP had the second highest number of lawful votes and also secured 25 per cent of votes in five of Bayelsa’s eight local governments.
Earlier, Mr Lyon was at his inauguration rehearsal scheduled to hold on Friday when the Justice Mary Odili-led panel of the apex court nullified his mandate.
His removal was based on the inconsistency of the name of his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, in certificates he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) ahead of the election.
The same court had also on Tuesday dismissed an appeal filed by Heineken Lokpobiri, challenging the emergence of Mr Lyon as the candidate of the APC.
According to the five-member panel led by Justice Mary Odili, Mr Lokpobiri’s “appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed.”
The PDP in its reaction to Mr Oshiomhole said his comment was “an empty and inconsequential ranting.”
The party in a statement by its national spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, warned the APC national chairman to steer clear of Bayelsa “as his apparent plots to trigger violence in the state has failed.
“The people of Bayelsa State know as a fact that the INEC under our laws, cannot take instructions from any individual, let alone a factional national chairman of a dysfunctional political party like the APC,” the spokesperson said.