Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State

The Supreme Court has fixed November 18 to explain its reasons for affirming the election of Governor Seriake Dickson as governor of Bayelsa State.
A seven-member panel, led by Justice Tanko Ibrahim, gave the date after delivering its judgement on Tuesday.

The court had earlier heard arguments by counsel on three applications, including that sent by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the election, Timipre Sylva.
Mr. Sylva approached the court in October, requesting it to set aside the judgements of the lower courts which returned Mr. Dickson as the validly elected governor of the state.

The counsel to the applicant, Sabastian Hon, asked the court to allow his application, saying the lower courts erred in their decisions. He said the elections had been marred with infractions.
Mr. Hon said the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had confirmed the infractions in its decision to cancel the election in some wards.
He therefore argued that the election should have been cancelled by the lower courts and provision made for a re-run.

But counsel to Mr. Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party, Tayo Oyetibo, argued that a witness brought to the lower courts by the prosecution had informed the court that the election was free and fair.

Mr. Oyetibo further said the witness had noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC only postponed the election, and never made any cancellations.
The governor’s lawyer also argued that Mr. Sylva had taken the oath of office twice and had no locus standi to have even filed any petition against the incumbent governor in the first place.
After hearing from counsel, Mr. Ibrahim delivered the unanimous judgement of the seven-member panel, dismissing the application by Mr. Sylva.

“After listening to the arguments of counsel, I came to the conclusion that the application lacks merit and it should be dismissed, I hereby dismiss the appeal and affirm the judgement of the court below.

“I shall give my reason for the dismissal on Friday the 18th of November 2016. Parties therefore bear cost,” he said.
All other members of the panel affirmed the decision of the judge.

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