The court of appeal sitting in Abuja has upheld the election of Seriake Dickson as governor of Bayelsa state, striking out the petition of Timipre Sylva, who ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Delivering judgment on Thursday, Olukayode Bada, a justice, who led the panel, ruled that Sylva’s petition was frivolous.
“I have carefully studied the issues raised by the appellant and found them to be frivolous and lacking in substance,” he held.
“The appellant had tried very hard to approbate and reprobate. This is not allowed in any of our statues.
“His sheer participation in the January 9 rescheduled election for Southern Ijaw local government area meant that he lost his right to raise any issue on the election of December 6, 2015, which was postponed.”
Bada also said that the appellant was unable to prove the allegation of non-compliance to the Electoral Act, adding that he failed to sufficiently discharge the burden of proof.
The judge faulted Sylva’s claim that he would have won if Southern Ijaw election had not been cancelled.
“Available evidence shows that no results were collated from the exercise as the poll was proven to have been marred by irregularities and malpractices,” he said.
“The appellant was also wrong when he said he was coasting to victory if all the 120,000 eligible voters in Southern Ijaw were allowed to vote.
“This, for us, was a mere wish as the appellant could have been sure of attracting majority of those votes.”
On whether the resident electoral commissioner was right to have cancelled the election, Bada said the electoral act gave the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) the power to mandate any of its officers to do so.
On July 26, the election tribunal in Bayelsa held that the supplementary election was proper and valid, but Sylva expressed dissatisfaction with the ruling, and headed to the appeal court.