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Bayelsans kicks against Abuja High Court Judgment against APC running mate

  Bayelsans from different walks of life today have kicked against the Abuja High Court Judgment purportedly disqualify the All Progressives Congress (APC) running mate, Senator Biobarakuma  Degi saying that he is their choice and they will vote massively for the party on Saturday November 16 Governorship election in the state to enhance the victory of the party at the poll.

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Senator  Biobakuma Degi, APC Running Mate

  The people described the judgment as miscarriage of justice; political gimmick and a ploy to distract the impending victory of the party, adding that come rain or sun they are solidly behind the Governorship candidate of APC, Chief David Lyon and his running mate, Senator Biobarakuma Degi to ensure their victory.

  They further described the judgment as ill-motivated, uncalled for and a deliberate oppression and prejudice, stressing that no Judge of proven integrity devoid of sentiment, criminality and corruption will jettison the documents at his disposal to deliver a judgment  that is ubiquitously unacceptable in Nigeria Democratic System of Governance.

  The people noted that Senator (Bishop) Biobarakuma  Degi as a man of exemplary rare leadership qualities and proven integrity who has attained leadership position from the rudimentary level as a Councilor, Vice Chairman and Chairman of Nembe Local Government Council and thereafter attained political appointment as  Honourable Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Rural Development, Commissioner for Health, Director in the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and  Member, Governing Council, Federal University Of Agriculture Abeokuta –Ogun State has all genuine certificates.

  The people asserted emphatically that Senator Degi as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has all the educational qualifications and genuine certificates to contest for the position of the running mate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nigeria as enshrine in the Nigeria Constitution can never be disqualify in favour of a political party that is desperate to win election by all means in disregard of the electorates right.

  They noted that Senator Degi holds a Degree in Agricultural Economics and Extension, and Masters of Business Administration in Management. He is a Chartered Human Resource Manager and member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management.

  The people express optimism that the Appeal Court will show justice in the matter to deliver a judgment that will be acceptable by the people.

  Also, different renowned organizations in Bayelsa state, the Ogbia Constituency II Advancement Forum (OCAF), Bayelsa Frontline Foundation for Good Governance (BAFFOGG) and Bayelsa Coalition for Democratic Change (BCDC) among others also condemn the judgment. 

Meanwhile, the deputy- governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Biobarakuma Degi has declared that there is no cause for alarm over an Abuja High Court ruling which disqualified his candidacy over allegations of falsification of documents.

  Degi who assured APC members across the state to remain calm, expressed surprise over the judgment noting however that he would take legitimate steps to seek redress and void the judgement.

  He said it was not the first time he would be contesting election and his documents are intact and valid.

  “The judgment is laughable. I have the minimum qualification to contest the election as the Deputy- Governor. My credentials are before the Court. This is not the first time I would be contesting elections. I have contested election as Councillor, Local Government Chairman and I am now a serving Senator and I wondered how a Court would give Judgment that I do not have documents. In the days to come, the truth would come out. It is unfortunate that they are talking about inconsistencies and inconsistencies, on what. “My opponents have also agreed that I have certificates; they did not say I do not have the minimum qualification.   They ran to Court to obtain judgment. There is room for us to appeal and I know that Judgement would not stand the test of time.”

  Speaking further, he said “My attention has been drawn to the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division delivered on the 12th day of November, 2019 purporting to disqualify me as the running mate to My principal, Chief David Lyon and Deputy Governorship Candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

Though I am yet to receive a copy of the Judgment, I have been given preliminary briefing by my legal team who listened to the excerpt of the Judgment read by the Learned Trial Judge.

  From the Information available at my disposal, the learned trial Judge found as of fact that I presented false information to INEC in my Form CF001 because of the seeming variations in my names on the qualifying certificate I possess.
  Upon been served with the court processes, I quickly denied the allegation of presenting false information to INEC by deposing to a counter affidavit wherein I clearly stated the circumstances leading to the variation forming the plaintiffs complain. I equally applied to the court to summon the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and Government Secondary School, Anyama – Ogbia to come with the particulars including photograph of the actual individual who sat for these examinations in order to ascertain whether it is any different from me.
  I equally challenged the plaintiffs to the strictest proof to produce any other person claiming ownership or proprietary interest of my qualifying Certificate. The plaintiff who made this assertion could not substantiate the allegation by producing the purported owner of these certificates. The allegations of perjury against me were equally not substantiated.

  This Judgment is therefore shocking and a travesty of Justice as it is based on speculation. It is illogical to conceive that simply because there are variations in my names as shown in my qualifying certificates without a proper inquiry by an evidential trial to confirm the authenticity of the claim, I have therefore committed fraud.
  Whilst the trial Judge found that the case is not a case of forgery, he proceeded to hold that my conduct was fraudulent and proceeded to disqualify me on the bases of unfounded allegations all in the realm of conjecture.
  More Importantly, I have never heard of an amendment of qualifying certificate if there are errors contained therein as propounded by the Judge. I have had cause in the past to clarify this variation during my University verification routinely conducted before issuance of my BSC.
  I have equally taken steps to regularize this seeming variation in my name in accordance with law by causing a publication and deposing to affidavit of name change prior to my nomination as the running mate and even before this action was ever contemplated. It is therefore baffling that a judge could come to this conclusion and make such far-reaching orders of disqualification without confirming whether those certificates truly belong to me or someone else.
  More fundamentally, there was clear evidence before the Court that I am eminently qualified under the constitution for the position I seek having studied up to school certificate level and beyond.
  I have always had confidence in the judicial system and I have no doubt whatsoever that at the end of the day, Justice will be served. I have instructed my Legal team to commence the process of filing an appeal to challenge the Judgment of the Federal High Court at the Court of Appeal.
  I call on all our teeming supporters not to be deterred by this puerile victory, which the opposition might think they have recorded. The status quo still remains. I urge them to come out en masse and vote for the APC come November 16th 2019.
  Also in his comment, the Minister of State for Petroluem and leader of APC in Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva has said that no amount of sponsored cases would deter the APC and the people of the state from sacking the Dickson-led government in Bayelsa.
Sylva who said the PDP government even sponsored APC members to drag the party to Court insisted that all efforts to stop the APC would be futile.

  “They are going to all courts in the land and even sponsored our members to take us to Court. But all their efforts would fail because on Saturday, we would win.”

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