David Lyon: Sweet victory
All is now set for the swearing-in of David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as governor of the riverside Bayelsa state. He replaces Governor Seriake Dickson of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), whose second tenure ends in three days time.
The certainty of Lyon’s upcoming coronation follows Tuesday’s Supreme Court dismissal of an appeal filed by the former Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, against the APC, David Lyon, and INEC, challenging the gubernatorial primary election of Bayelsa state held on September 4, 2019.
The apex court held that the appellant (Lokpobiri) filed the case at the trial court outside the 14 days provided by the Constitution.
Going by Section 285(9) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the 5-man panel led by Justice Mary Odili, stated that pre-election matters, being time bound, must be filed within 14 days.
“The provision of Section 285(9) of the Constitution does not permit any elongation of time in any pre election matter, the court held.
Contrary to Lokpobiri’s calculation that the cause of action started on September 7, Justice Okoro stated that it actually arose on September 4.
Consequently, Justice Inyang Okoro in a lead judgment said the appeal was lacking in merit and dismissed same.
The PDP has ruled the state since the inception of the current democratic dispensation in 1999.
Thus, this will be the first time another political party will hold sway in the state since then.