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Bayelsa Governorship Tussle Not Over Yet as Timi Alaibe Battles Gov. Douye Diri

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Douye Diri
Gov. Diri

The governorship battle in Bayelsa State is not over yet as the tussle now shifts to intra party dispute between the newly sworn in governor of the state, Senator Douye Diri and former chairman of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Timi Alaibe.

Chief Alaibe had approached the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa in a suit numbered FHC/YNG/CS/99/2019, having as defendants: the PDP, Senator Douye Diri, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Embeleakpo Alale for himself and representing the elected local government chairmen, vice chairmen and councilors of the PDP allowed to be delegates at the elective State Congress of the PDP in Bayelsa State held on September 3, 2019.

Also joined in the suit as the defendant is Doubra Kumokou, for himself and on behalf of the three Ad-Hoc Delegates allowed to be delegates at the elective State Congress.

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Alaibe is said to be seeking, with an application, the cancellation of the result of the primary election based on cited procedural flaws.

The suit, which was filed in pursuant to Order 3(9) of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2019, seeks answers to questions bordering on obvious non-adherence to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act 2010, the People’s Democratic Party Constitution and Election Guidelines, by the State Chapter of the party in the conduct of the Ward Congresses, inclusion of local government council officials in the delegates list and the procedure for inclusion of three ad-hoc delegates.

Citing specific sections of relevant laws and guidelines, Alaibe is asking the court to examine the entire processes that resulted in the primaries and rule in his favour in the light of violations committed in a desperate move to impose a pre-determined hand-picked candidate on the people out of 21 aspirants.

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In October 2019, the case was transferred to a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja amid protest in the Bayelsa State Chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as the Acting Chief Judge, Federal High Court Nigeria, Justice John Tsoho, approved the request of Chief Alaibe, to transfer his suit against the party and its then flag bearer, Senator Douye Diri, over the disputed September 3, 2019 governorship primary that produced the party’s candidate, now Governor of the state.

Protested erupted when the presiding Judge of the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, Justice Jane Iyang, announced her decision to accede to the directive of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria to transfer the case to Abuja.

She further explained that her decision to allow the case to be transferred to Abuja was based on a transfer request by Chief Ndutimi Alaibe dated 27th of September, 2019, and which was subsequently received by her Court on the 10th of October, 2019.

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It would be recalled that the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation had raised objections against what it described as crass disrespect for legal procedures and party guidelines in the build-up to the conduct of the governorship primary election by the State Chapter of the PDP.

The objection covered open disobedience to the party constitution and electoral guidelines and the manner in which Ward Congresses were conducted; among others.

However, on Friday, Senator Diri was sworn into office as Governor of Bayelsa State following a Supreme Court verdict that invalidated the nomination of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

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