The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC has issued a Certificate of Return to the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Duoye Diri, declaring him as the winner of the November 16 governorship election in the state.
The INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, at a briefing on Friday in Abuja, said the commission received the certified copy of the Thursday’s Supreme Court judgement and thus, the state has a governor elect.
“The commission has received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgement of the apex court which disqualified the Deputy Governorship candidate (of the APC) and vitiated the joint ticket of the party earlier declared winner in the election.
“The Court also ordered the Commission to declare as winner of the Governorship election in Bayelsa State the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast with the requisite constitutional (or geographical spread),” the chairman said.
According to him, in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the Commission met Friday morning and reviewed the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested, without the votes scored by the All Progressives Congress (APC), whose candidates were deemed not to have participated in the election.
The chairman revealed that the total number of lawful and valid votes cast in the election now stand at 146,999 and that out of this figure, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172.
He explained that the PDP similarly, scored more than 25 percent of the lawful votes cast in all the eight Local Government Areas of the State.
“Furthermore, the total number of registered voters in places where election was not held or cancelled as a result of sundry violations is 90,822. The candidate of the Accord party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes. The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With this outcome, the election is conclusive at first ballot.
“Consequently, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected as Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State respectively,” he said.
The INEC boss said the commission is aware that the tenure of the incumbent Governor of Bayelsa State ends at midnight Friday 14th February 2020 and that in fulfilment of the requirement of Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) the Certificates of Return (CoR) to the Governor and Deputy Governor-elect will be presented to them immediately as ordered by the Supreme Court.
With this development, the INEC National Commissioner, Mrs. May Agbamuche-Mbu later issued the CoR to the duo of Diri and Ewhrudjakpo as governor-elect and deputy-governor elect respectively.
The governor elect, in his acceptance speech, thanked God and appreciated the judiciary and his supporters for making his dream of ruling Bayelsa State become possible.