Bayelsa guber: Why David Lyon was not given automatic ticket — APC

THE All Progressives Congress (APC) has said the Bayelsa State gubernatorial primary election is open for all aspirants in accordance with the Electoral Act.

The party’s governorship primary takes place on Friday, April 14, in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.

Speaking on Channels TV on Thursday, April 12, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Felix Morka, expressed the sympathy of the party’s leadership for David Lyon.

Lyon was the APC candidate in the Bayelsa State governorship election in 2020. He was declared winner of the election but his victory was nullified by the Supreme Court due to irregularities in the certificates of his running mate Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, incumbent governor Duoye Diri, who finished second, was subsequently declared winner of the poll.

Speaking on Channels TV on Thursday, Morka said the APC leaders sympathised with Lyon over the loss of his mandate in 2020.

But he explained that the provisions of the Electoral Act and the party’s Constitution made it impossible to give an automatic ticket to Lyon.

“If this was up to individuals, I’m quite sure that the sentiments are with David Lyon but when you have laws that govern the process, the Electoral Act, the party’s Constitution, the Federal Constitution of Nigeria at play, when people insist they want a competitive, fair, transparent process, and invoke provisions of the constitutions and the Electoral Act, you can’t shove it aside.

“If you take a barometer and measure the level of sympathy for David Lyon, yes, even amongst the leaders of the party, there are many who have enormous sympathy for his situation but at the end of the day, you cannot use sympathy to upstage legality and due process.

“Sometimes, no matter the strength of your sentiments, you yield to the law because if you don’t, the judges will not be governed by sentiments if the matter goes to court in a legal challenge.”

Morka urged those who cast their votes for Lyon during the last primary election to vote for him again, if he remains their preferred choice.

“They spoke loud and clear and now that a time has come for that election, we’re hoping that as citizens, they’re free to go to the primaries, for those of them who are members of the party to support him if that is their preference still or support any of the other aspirants in the race,” he said.

Why Supreme Court sacked David Lyon as Bayelsa State governor-elect  in 2020

In February, 2020, The ICIR reported that the Supreme Court sacked then governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon and his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo barely 24 hours to his inauguration.

In a unanimous judgment delivered by a five-men panel, the Supreme Court ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Lyon.

The apex court nullified Lyon’s election because of the false information presented to INEC by his deputy, Degi-Eremienyo.

The Supreme Court noted that the information submitted by Eremienyo to INEC lacks credibility due to disparities.

The court, as well ordered the Commission to declare the party with the highest number of lawful votes and geographical spread, winner of the election.

The ICIR reported that Lyon’s running mate presented five different names to INEC.






     

     

    Degi-Eremienyo’s name was written as ‘Degi Biobara’ in his Primary School Certificate but his secondary school education documents showed a different name – Adegi Biobarakumo.

    During his tertiary institution years at the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), the name was again mutated to Degi Biobarakuma..

    He adopted Degi Biobarakuma Wangaha for his MBA Certificate from the same university in 2002. 

    But as the deputy governorship aspirant, he bore Degi-Eremienyo.

    Stories with punches holding the powerful accountable. His determination to speak out against corruption and influence the conversation in Nigeria, the surrounding region and the continent inspires him.

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