- Appeal court has reserved judgement in the appeal by Governor Diri
- Diri was sacked by the tribunal as the governor of Bayelsa state
- The court also awarded N500,000 against the ANDP
The camp of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa state was gripped by anxiety on Thursday, September 24, following the Court of Appeal's decision to reverse the verdict on Governor Duoye Diri's appeal.
Vanguard reports that a five-man panel of justices of the court led by Justice Adzira Gana Mshella okayed the appeals for judgement.
Legit.ng gathered that the appellate court also awarded N500,000 cost against the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), which was the party that filed the petition that led to Diri’s sack.
The report noted that the hearing of all the appeals was stalled on Wednesday, September 23, owing to an application the ANDP brought for leave to change the lawyer that handled the case for it at the tribunal.
It was gathered that the new lawyer, Gabriel Egbule, after Diri’s appeal was called up for hearing, ad he informed the appellate court that the party was no longer interested in processes its former lawyer, Kehinde Ogunwumiju, filed to defend the judgement of the tribunal.
Egbule drew the attention of the court to ANDP’s notice of change of counsel dated September 23, adding that he would henceforth represent the party in the matter.
Ogunwumiju, who expressed surprise over the development, persuaded the court to defer the hearing to enable him to confirm his status in the case.
At the resumed proceedings in the case on Thursday, Saturday 24, Ogunwumiju announced his appearance for the ANDP, even as Egbule notified the court that he got a fresh directive to hands-off and withdraw all the applications he filed on behalf of the party.
Dissatisfied with the situation, governor Diri’s lawyer, Chris Uche, urged the appellate court to punish the ANDP and its national chairman, Charles Ogboli, noting that he was the one that deposed to the fresh affidavit sought to be withdrawn.
He noted that the party said in the affidavit that in the event that a fresh election is conducted in Bayelsa state as ordered by the tribunal, it would be left without a gubernatorial candidate.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that the immediate past governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson, said the judgment of the election petition tribunal which annulled the state governorship election would not take effect until the matter gets to the Supreme Court.
It was reported that Dickson, in a statement on Monday, August 17, said Duoye Diri remains the governor of Bayelsa state until all appeal processes are exhausted.
Bayelsa: INEC presents PDP’s Douye Diri certificate of return | - on Legit TV