© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Bayelsa poll: Why court sacked APC deputy gov candidate
CONFUSION rocks All Progressive Congress (APC) as Abuja High Court disqualified Bayelsa Deputy Governor Candidate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo 3 days to the election over false information submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
In a suit filed as FHC/ABJ/CS/1101/2019 before the court by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and INEC against Degi-Eremienyo over the provision of false information.
PDP sued Degi-Eremienyo over false information in his CF0001 form submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to contest for deputy governor of the state in the November 16 election.
According to the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the documents obtained from the court revealed five different names on the candidate’s certificates.
Markson said Degi’s First school leaving certificate(FLSC) in 1976, bore Degi Biobaragha while his West African Examination Council (WAEC) of 1984 carried Adegi Biobarakumo.
He added that the candidate’s first degree in 1990 from the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) bore Degi Biobarakuma, the name on his master’s degree from Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST) obtained in 2002 is Degi Biobarakuma Wangagha.
In submission of documents to INEC, Form CF001 of the documents carried Degi-Eremienyo Biobarakuma, a name different from the names on all of his educational certificates.
Markson stated that part of the documents he obtained also showed two different affidavits sworn before two unidentified Notaries Public in an attempt to correct his name blaming the mistakes on the part of the institutions as the cause of the incoherence.
The sitting judge, Inyang Ekwo, said there is no connection in the names on his school-leaving certificate, first degree (BA), WAEC, Masters’s degree and the affidavits he submitted for correction of his name.
Ekwo added that all of the documents submitted by Degi-Eremienyo to the INEC carried different names.
He ruled that the right way to correct misspelled names or documents with error is by writing the issuing institutions to correct and not by an affidavit deposed to before a Notary public which did not issue the certificates.
Consequently, he disqualified him on the ground that he provided false information to the electoral body to stand for the election.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman INEC, told The ICIR that INEC has not been served with the court order but that the commission is known for obeying court orders.
Oyekanmi said even if the commission will appeal to the court on the judgement, the court order will still be obeyed.
Degi-Eremienyo is currently the senator representing Bayelsa East and Vice Chairman of two senate committees – Special Duties Committee and Gas Resources Committee.
He also served as Executive Director at the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and Bayelsa Commissioner for Local Government Affairs under former President Goodluck Jonathan while he served as Bayelsa Governor in 2016.