Barely 24 hours to his inauguration, the Supreme Court has sacked Sir David Lyon of the APC as governor-elect of Bayelsa and declared PDP’s Senator Douye Diri the winner of the November 2019 polls in the State.
A panel of justices led by Mary Odili asked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Lyon and to re-issue another to the candidate with the second-highest number of votes. Consequently, Diri, candidate of the PDP, who secured 143,172 votes against Lyon’s 352,552, will now be inaugurated as governor of Bayelsa.
The decision of the apex court was in affirmation of the verdict of a federal high court disqualifying Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, Lyon’s running mate, for submitting forged credentials to INEC.
The supreme court held that the action of Degi-Eremienyo affects Lyon because both men ran on a joint ticket.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Douye Diri, its governorship candidate, had filed a suit against Lyon, Degi-Eremienyo, and INEC, seeking the disqualification of the APC deputy governorship candidate.
David Lyon was already rehearsing his Swearing-in Salutation when the apex court gave the verdict. He was awarded for Best Governor of the Year (2019) in January 2020 before even assuming office.