By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja
The Supreme Court on Tuesday in Abuja affirmed the nomination of David Lyon as governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the last gubernatorial election in Bayelsa State.
Lyon is billed for inauguration this Friday at Yenagoa to take over from Mr Seriake Henry Dickson.
The apex court in a unanimous decison dismissed the appeal filed by another aspirant of the APC, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, challenging the nomination of Lyon as the APC flag bearer in the November 16 governorship poll.
The court in the lead judgment delivered by Justice John Inyang Okoro held that Senator Lokpobiri failed to file his suit within the mandatory 14 days stipulated in the 1999 Constitution.
Justice Okoro stated that the provisions of section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution was categorical and emphatic that all political cases must be instituted within a 14 days time frame a cause of action arises.
The apex court disagreed with the appellant that the cause of action arose from September 7, 2019 when Lyon’s name was submitted by the APC to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s flag bearer, adding that the cause of action actually arose from September 4, 2019 when the result of the primary election was declared by the party.
The apellant filed his suit 24 hours outside the time allowed by law for him to do so.
Lokpobiri had prayed the apex court to void the decisions of both the trial court and the appellate court in Port Harcourt which earlier held that his case was statute barred and no longer has life at the time it was instituted.
The former Minister of State for Agriculture, averred that the two lower courts erred in law when they held that he ought to have filed his grievances from the date the result of the primary election was announced and not from the date his opponent’s name was submitted to the electoral body.
Lokpobiri specifically insisted that he won the primary election in five out of the eight Local Government Areas in the state with a wide margin and that Lyon was illegally and unlawfully declared by APC as winner of the primary election.
However the apex court in the final judgment held that Lokpobiri’s case was irredeemably bad because it violated section 285(9) of the Constitution haven been filed outside the 14 days allowed by law.
The court held that where the provision of a law is so specific as in the time frame to file a pre-election matter, the general provision must give way, adding the provision of section 285(9) does not envisage any elongation.
Justice Okoro subsequently dismissed the appeal for being incompetent and lacking in merit.
Bayelsa Gov-elect, David Lyon Defeats Lokpobiri at Supreme Court
By Yemi Oyeyemi, Abuja