© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Here are the five conflicting names that crippled David Lyon’s chance of emerging as next Governor of Bayelsa
SINCE the Supreme Court judgement sacked David Lyon, the Bayelsa state Governor-elect of the All Progressive Congress (APC) with his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo, a day to the swearing-in date, the media have been awashed with the report of the judgement that left many in shock.
The verdict of the apex court led by Justice Mary Odili stated that Degi-Eremieoyo’s candidacy and election was illegal.
The panel insisted that the initial verdict made by the Federal High Court on 12th November was accurate, as fake information was presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thus disqualifying the accused politician.
The suit – FHC/ABJ/CS/1101/2019 was filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Degi-Eremieoyo.
However, here are the five names presented by Degi-Eremieoyo at different levels of his academic career which was in conflict with the name submitted on INEC’s Form CF 001.
Findings revealed that 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.
By the time he was admitted into the Rivers State University of Science and Technology (RSUST), the name has again mutated to Degi Biobarakuma.
And contrary to the name submitted to INEC, the politician’s name is Degi Biobarakuma Wangaha on his MBA Certificate from the same university in 2002.
Lastly, as the Deputy Governor-Elect, he bore Mr Degi-Eremienyo.
But in its verdict, the Supreme Court affirmed that “…the information given by the 3rd defendant on Form CF.001 that the documents thereto attached as his have not by any iota of credible evidence been so established.
“The information is false in all material particular as none of the said documents has any nexus with the name of the 3rd defendant (Degi-Eremienyo) on the said Form CF001.”
Empty threat by APC’s National Chairman
Meanwhile, Adams Oshiomole, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) kicked against the judgement, threatening that Duoye Diri would not be sworn in as the governor.
In fact, he threatened no one would occupy the governor’s seat from Friday, the day Diri was eventually sworn in with his deputy.
“Let me also say that it is not a state secret if as the Supreme Court has ruled, David Lyon cannot now be sworn in as the person who has the highest number of votes and the spread to be sworn in, it simply means from tomorrow there will be no governor in Bayelsa State,” he vowed.
“But, as far as we know the next candidate, as the facts are before the court, who happens to be a PDP candidate does not have one-quarter of the total lawful vote cast in that election in 2/3 of the local government councils in Bayelsa state.
“And, therefore from the fact available to us, in consultation with our lawyers, it is clear that there is no candidate that meet the requirements of the supreme court, which means no one can be sworn in legally tomorrow unless there is a deliberate abuse of the legal process,” Oshiomole stated.
He further argued, citing an instance of Adamu Muazu, former Governor of Bauchi State and ex-PDP Chieftain whose candidacy and his opponent’s submission was nullified until the court ordered a fresh election.
“In 1999, there was a similar case in Bauchi involving Gov Adamu Muazu. The court found out that the running mate was not qualified for whatever reason to contest that election and accordingly the supreme court nullified the election of Gov Adamu Muazu. And, the court as a consequence directed INEC to conduct a fresh election.”
After so much agitation from the major opposition party, Diri was issued Certificate of Return following the Supreme Court’s judgement and directive.