GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has described the case instituted by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), challenging the election of Sen. Douye Diri as the Governor of Bayelsa State as a needless distraction.
The governor gave the description while reacting to Diri’s vuctory at the Appeal Court.
Okowa in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, observed that the verdict of the appellate court was a welcomed development, and that the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which nullified Diri’s election earlier, ought not to have entertained the petition in the first place as it was a pre-election matter and was status barred.
“The case was a needless distraction as the tribunal ought not to have entertained the petition because it was a pre-election matter and was also status barred.
“I welcome the judgement of the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on the Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition with immense joy and appreciation to the judiciary for doing justice on the matter.
“This ruling has once again reaffirmed the powers of INEC to act as an unbiased umpire, especially in dealing with issues of improper nomination by political parties.
“I must commend the courage and sagacity exhibited by the five-man panel of the court which ruled that the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP) failed woefully to show that it had a valid candidate that was unlawfully excluded by INEC.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I congratulate my brother Governor, Senator Douye Diri, on this victory.
“This victory is for all Bayelsans, and I urge the ANDP to sheathe its sword and work for the interest of the people of the state,” the governor said.