Sophia Smith
Fri, Sep 8, 2023 9:00 PM

Bayelsa Election Tribunal Cancels Election of PDP Representative

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Bayelsa Election Tribunal Cancels Election of PDP Representative
The Bayelsa State National Assembly and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal has nullified the election of Fred Agbedi, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate representing Sagbama-Ekeremor Federal Constituency. The tribunal ruled in favor of Michael Olomu, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, citing non-compliance with the Electoral Act and violence during the polls. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been directed to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in the affected areas.

The Bayelsa State National Assembly and State House of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Yenagoa has made a significant ruling, canceling the election of Fred Agbedi, the member representing Sagbama-Ekeremor Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). This decision comes after a petition filed by Michael Olomu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the outcome of the election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had initially declared Agbedi as the winner, having secured a total of 21,430 votes, while Olomu managed to accumulate 8,899 votes in the polls conducted on February 25.

The tribunal, presided over by Justice Sylvester Odili, justified the cancellation of the election by highlighting substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 by INEC. The irregularities were found to have affected the outcome of the polls in numerous polling units and wards in the Sagbama and Ekeremor Local Government Areas, where violence and other irregularities were reported.

In its verdict, the tribunal listed several polling units in the affected areas, which includes 17 polling units in Wards 10, 11, and 12 of Ekeremor LGA, six polling units in Ward 11, and all the polling units in Ward 5 of Sagbama LGA. The commission has been directed by the tribunal to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in these areas where disenfranchisement occurred.

Following the tribunal's judgment, the certificate of return issued to Fred Agbedi has been set aside, paving the way for the supplementary election to determine the rightful representative of the Sagbama-Ekeremor Federal Constituency.

In response to the ruling, Fred Agbedi expressed his readiness for the supplementary election, stating, "That is justice served, and I'm ready for the supplementary election. No appeal, that's my personal decision."

Meanwhile, Michael Olomu, the APC candidate, expressed his satisfaction with the tribunal's decision, believing it demonstrates that he was the true winner of the February 25 election. He intends to consult with his party and legal team to determine the next steps in light of the ruling.

The nullification of the election and the subsequent call for a supplementary election have brought attention to the need for a fair and transparent electoral process in Bayelsa State. It is crucial for the Independent National Electoral Commission to address the issues raised by the tribunal and ensure that the upcoming supplementary election is conducted in a peaceful and credible manner.

Overall, this decision sends a clear signal that electoral irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act will not be tolerated, and the will of the people must prevail in the democratic process.

Source of content: OOO News 2023-09-08 News

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