Senator Douye Diri

* Supreme Court nullifies Bayelsa governor-elect’s victory

THE Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) last night received the enrolled order of the Supreme Court’s judgment on the Bayelsa State governorship election.

The judgment nullified the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate David Lyon.

The electoral agency will meet today to determine the candidate who scored the majority of the lawful votes and the candidate with the requisite spread.

It said it needed to study and comply with the exact wordings of the Supreme Court.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr. Festus Okoye, made these clarifications last night.

Okoye said: “This night, we received the Supreme Court judgment. The commission does not just rely on the revision of all these lawyers or the recollections of people to give effect to the judgment of the Supreme Court.

“We will meet tomorrow (today) to understand the context in which the judgment was given and also to enable us to understand what specifically the Supreme Court wants us to do.

“We are about to give effect to the judgment of the Supreme Court.

Asked if INEC was not worried of a likely lacuna or a vacuum since the tenure of Governor Seriake Dickson ends today, Okoye added: “I think the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has taken care of a couple of these issues and it is not for the commission to begin to make a determination whether there will be a lacuna or not.

“Our own duty and our own responsibility is to look at the context in which the Supreme Court gave this judgment, the exact wordings of the judgment and give effect to the judgment.

“What the Supreme Court intends us to do is to make a determination on who scored the majority of the lawful votes and to look at the issue of spread.

“But we need to see the judgment of the Supreme Court itself so that we don’t rely on the recollections of people in giving effect to the judgment of the Supreme Court.

Okoye added: “What is next for INEC is that we are waiting and we are ready to give effect to the judgment of the Supreme Court.

“The moment we are served with the court order, the commission will move expeditiously and give effect to the judgment of the Supreme Court. That is our responsibility and that is what we are about to do.”

The Director of Information and Voter Education, Mr. Wole Uzzi said: “What is obvious is that we will comply with the order of the Supreme Court.”

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