The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Tuesday, withdrew its petition against the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), before the Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
The PDP had challenged the emergency of David Lyon of the APC as the elected governor of the state before the February 13 Supreme Court’s ruling.
In the resumed sitting on Tuesday, counsel to the petitioner, John Okoriko, informed the three-man panel headed by Justice Muhammad Sirajo that he had an application before the tribunal.
Okoriko further said the application was premised on six grounds and supported by a 14- paragraphs affidavit.
In the application, the counsel prayed for an order granting the petitioner a leave to withdraw the petition against the respondents, in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment of February 13, which declared the petitioner and its candidate, Douye Diri, as the winner of the November 16 governorship election.
The application also urged the tribunal to see the application as properly filed, and adopt same for the interest of peace and justice for Bayelsa.
The application, in addition, prayed the tribunal to make additional orders as deem fit in the circumstance.
Sirajo, in response, however, said the petitioner could not sought to withdraw its application in the interest of peace and justice, but on the ground that the petition was incompetent based on the present turn of event.
Ibrahim Bawa, counsel to INEC, on his part, stated that he had no objection to the application. He, however, pointed out some observations.
Bawa said one of the observation was the failure of the petitioner’s counsel to comply with Rule 20, paragraph 29 (4) of the election rules, which stated that there must be a signed affidavit by the petitioner himself attached to the application.
Counsel to APC, P. Abah, equally said in pursuant to Supreme Court’s judgment, he had no objection to the petitioner withdrawing its petition.
Sirajo, therefore, said: “We have noted your observations and in absence of no objection, the application is granted. The petition is hereby struck out”.
The PDP had filed a petition against the respondents for declaring Lyon as the winner of the election.
However in a twist, on February 13, the apex court overturned Lyon’s election as the governor-elect.
The judgment disqualified the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Biobarakum Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election.
The court upheld the November 12 judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which had disqualified Degi-Eremienyo in the election for submitting forged certificates to INEC.
A five-man panel of the court, led by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, ordered the INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to the APC’s candidate as the winner of election in the state.
The topmost court in the country ordered INEC to issue a fresh certificate of return to the candidate of the party with the next highest votes, and with the required constitutional spread of votes in the results of the election, which was the PDP.
Diri had since been sworn in as the governor of Bayelsa, which necessitated the PDP withdrawing the petition.