- The Bayelsa state governorship election tribunal has struck out an application filed the state's deputy governor, Lawrence Ewrujakpor
- Ewrujakpor had filed the application to stop INEC from producing the alleged forged documents he submitted to the electoral body
- The petition filed by an opposition candidate claims the deputy governor submitted false information and was not qualified to contest the election
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The Bayelsa state governorship election petition tribunal has dismissed an application filed by the state's deputy governor, Lawrence Ewrujakpor.
The Nation reports that the dismissed application had sought to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from producing the alleged forged documents submitted to it by the deputy governor.
Legit.ng gathers that the petition being heard by the tribunal was filed by Vijah Eldred Opuama, a governorship candidate of the Liberation Movement (LM) in the 2019 governorship election.
The chairman of the tribunal, M. I Cirajo, said the application was dismissed because the practice of raising an objection in opposition to a subpoena was strange in law.
Opuama had argued through his lawyer that INEC was a material witness and the document sought to be tendered by the commission was essential to establish the claims that the deputy governor submitted false information and was not qualified to contest the poll.
The tribunal held that Ewrujakpor's application was premature and unripe as the subpoena was yet to be issued by the chairman of the tribunal.
Following the dismissal of the application, the tribunal issued the subpoena and a prehearing report which spelt out the schedule for the hearing of the petition.
The tribunal further adjourned to June 1, 2020 for the petitioner to open its case by calling his first witness.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that a founding member of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, predicted a landslide victory for former Governor Seriake Dickson if he emerged as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming western senatorial by-election in the state.
Kpodoh, in a statement to Legit.ng, insisted that Dickson as a senatorial candidate would have no problem winning the election for the PDP following his track records and his dogged political style.
The chieftain added that despite his disagreements with Dickson, he would not hesitate to look at issues involving the former governor and his political capabilities objectively.
In another report, the Bayelsa state task force on COVID-19 has arrested at least nine pastors belonging to various denominations in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The pastors were arrested for conducting Sunday worship activities in their various churches in violation of the lockdown order in the state.
Legit.ng gathers that those arrested were Pastors P. B. Barima; Timi Aaron; Adaba Glory; and Chris Ezene.
Others are Plus B. James; Prophet Alfred Munemune; Daniel Owi; Sardauna Oguta; and Tony Samugba.
According to the task force, the pastors were being detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, Yenagoa, and would be charged to court soon.
Legit.ng notes that many religious clerics across Nigeria have been arrested for violating the lockdown directive which is put in place to contain the spread of the infectious disease.
According to the data released on Sunday, May 3, by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the federal health agency managing the pandemic, Bayelsa state currently has five confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The nationwide data from the NCDC shows that Nigeria has 2,558 confirmed cases, with 400 recoveries and 87 deaths.
Nigeria which has only conducted 17,566 tests has one of the highest cases and deaths in Africa.
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