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Senator Lokpobiri goes home in shame: -As Appeal Court confirms David Lyon's Victory

  By Our Correspondent

    Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, Former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, goes home today with shame  as the Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State has declared the Governor-Elect of Bayelsa State, Chief David Lyon as the validly elected governorship flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 16th gubernatorial election, thus discharged the pre-election objection of Senator Lokpobiri.

From Right Chief David Lyon ,Governor-Elect and his Deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

   Delivering judgement over the two Appeals filed the Governor-elect,Chief David Lyon and former Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, the presiding judges of the Court of Appeal, Justices I.O.Akeju, C.J.Jombo-Ofo and A.M.Lamido, submitted that the appeal filed by the Governor-elect, David Lyon against the November 14th ruling of the Federal High Court presided over by Justice Jane Iyang on issue of non-validity of the party primary in Yenagoa, is upheld as the lower Court lacks jurisdiction.
    According to the Court of Appeal, in suit numbered CA/ PH/575/2019,allowed the David Lyon Appeal and the judgment of the lower court was struck out for lack of jurisdiction. And that the matter was statute barred.
    On the second ruling on Senator Lokpobiri appeal, the Justices of the court in suit CA/ PH/ 585/2019, 3., said the respondent (Lokpobiri) though has a right of audience before the court and the  undertaking is inconsequential but since the sister case just delivered  was struck out for the reasons given above, this one goes the same way.
     In CA/PH/586/2019, the Court stated that the appellant appeal was allowed because the court erred in granting a consequential order not sort by the parties. The court acted ultra viras its powers,”The cause of action ought to commence within 14 days which start counting from the date of the primaries which is 4/9/2019 and lapsed on the 17/9/2019, and not a later date. As in the instant case which commenced on the 18/9/2019, hence it was filed or commenced out of time. As such it has become statute barred. The court therefore lack jurisdiction”
    It would be recalled that the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa had on the 14th of November nullified the Governorship primaries of the All Progressive Congress (APC), declaring that the September 4th primaries that threw up Chief David Lyon as Candidate of the Party for the November 16th election did not conform to the provisions of the party.
    The Presiding Judge, Justice Jane Iyang had declared that the result of the Governorship primaries declared by the Secretary of the election committee, Senator Emmanuel Ochoja instead of the Chairman of the Committee, Mai Mala Buni.
Iyang in her ruling, chastise the Bayelsa Governorship primaries election committee headed by the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni insisting that it is clear that the Committee threw caution to the wind while conducting and announcing the outcome of the September 4th primaries and that the action of the committee did not conform with the party guideline.
     She noted that decision of the Secretary of the Committee, Senator Emmanuel Ochoja to take over the duty of the Chairman of the Committee truncated the whole process, “neither the plaintiff nor the first defendant can lay claim to the ticket of the Party.”
Senator Lokpobiri in his appeal had asked the Court to set aside the ruling of the lower court and uphold his prayers as instituted on his behalf by Mr Fitzgerald Olorogun, the former minister claimed to have won the September 4, governorship primary of the party with a majority votes of 111, 439, claiming that Aganaba Stephen came second with 5,426, Ebitimi Amgbare was the third position with 638 votes while Lyon David Pereworinimi came fifth with 325 votes.

Image result for Senator Heineken lokpobiri Photo
Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri

 In the originating summons,Sen. Lokpobiri applied for an order of perpetual injunction restraining APC, its officers, agents and privies from treating, presenting or holding out Lyon to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the party’s candidate for the election.
     The plaintiff also sought an order of perpetual injunction stopping INEC, its officers, agents and privies from accepting or further accepting, publishing or further publishing David Lyon as the flag bearer and another order barring the electoral body from excluding him as the APC candidate.
       Besides, the governorship aspirant sought another order to stop Lyon from parading or further parading, presenting or further presenting himself as APC candidate and a similar order against INEC to stop it from accepting, recognising, or dealing with Lyon or putting his image on the ballot paper in the name of APC as the party’s governorship candidate.
Lokpobiri wants the court to compel INEC to treat him as the lawful candidate of APC and to accord him the rights, privileges and perquisites of a candidate of APC in the gubernatorial election.
       Counsel to Chief David Lyon, Sidney Ibanickuka Esq described the ruling as one hinged on natural justice insisting that it has proving that a Court should not rely on his ruling by hearing from only one side,”the Court must hear from all parties in a case.”
   Bayelsans from different walks of life were jubilating over the judgement delivered in favour of the APC Governor-Elect, Chief David Lyon.
 It would be recalled that Global Overseer Newspaper in one of its edition published after the Governorship election in the state stated emphatically that there is no need to go to court over the November 16 Governorship election in Bayelsa state as Chief David Lyon won the APC Direct Primaries and the Governorship Election overwhelmingly.

Indisputably the last November 16 Bayelsa State governorship election has been adjudged as the most peaceful, free, fair and credible election ever conducted since the creation of the state 23years ago and the returned to democratic rule from 1999 to date.
Indeed, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) led by Prof Mahmood Yakubu deserves overwhelming commendations.
Obviously, in every election there must be a winner or losers. But in this election, the losers must embrace the spirit of sportsmanship to congratulate the winner and not to take election as a do or die affair or even to go to court.
This is because the landslide victory of the Gubernatorial Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon as Governor-Elect for Bayelsa state as declared by INEC Returning Officer, Prof Faraday Orumwense, Vice Chancellor of the University of Benin as winner with a total of 352,552 against the PDP Candidate, Douye Diri, who polled 143,172 votes is the true decision of the electorates.
Then, where is the need to go to court as the electorates constitutionally empowered to vote have decided.
The choice of Chief David Lyon and Senator Biobarakuma Degi as Governor-Elect and Deputy on November 16 Governorship elections in the state bothered on number of factors.
First, the All Progressives Congress (APC) has presented credible God fearing Governorship Candidate and running mate that is widely accepts by the electorates while the PDP Governorship Candidate and his running mate were unilaterally imposed on the party’s members and the electorates with the hope that money can deliver them at the poll.
The party (PDP) has ruled the state for 20years by different governors who worked tirelessly toward the transformation of the state according to their vision and experience.
Under the administration of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson he has tried his best according to his vision and knowledge.
But what makes the electorates to jettison PDP Candidates and voted massively for the Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief David Lyon and his Deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi is attributed to the bad leadership of Governor Dickson’s administration.
The stringent and inhuman policies of the administration that has inflicted unbearable suffering, economic hardship, abject poverty and hunger on the people, particularly taking the governance of the state as private affairs to the detriment of the populace amongst other social ills were some of the major factors that compelled the electorates irrespective of the political party they belong to vote the Peoples Democratic Party out of office.
Undeniably, every patriotic Bayelsans can testify that the PDP’s administration under Governor Dickson about 8years in office now has caused intolerable anguish and privation to the people of the state and the non-indigenes living in the state.
The administration is very tyrannical and autocratic. All policies initiated by the administration are policies that are self-centered and oppressive.
Democracy which is a government of the people by the people for the people is no longer there.
Despite the fact that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria spelt out that sovereignty belongs to the people, from whom government derives all powers and authority, adding the fact that this provision affirmed that security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government.
But it is sad to note that his regime abandoned this provision in the administration of the affairs of the state.
The state is ruled by cabal headed by Governor Dickson thereby subjecting the populace to perpetual suffering in various ways under his administration.
It is a truism that the economy of the state is in doldrums as deduction of civil servants salaries and under stepping of their salaries grade levels has become a major source of revenue for the state. Retirees of the state also have not been paid their backlog of gratuities owed them, thus inflicting them with perpetual economic hardship and misery.
Most of those in positions of trust under the regime have forgotten the masses as they have seen the privilege as an opportunity to amass wealth at the disadvantage of the people.
Horrendous economic hardship, high cost of living, insecurity and killings as well as  poor living environment is the order of the day.
Under Governor Dickson tyrannical leadership, he does not listen to anybody but you must obey his commands.
Unquestionably, Bayelsans were tired of his style of administration which if unchanged and allow to continue the inhabitants will face an insufferable situation that they would not survive at all.
The people also realized that gone are the days when people will use guns, thugs and all forms of criminal tendencies to hijack the mandate of the people to enrich them, impoverish and under develop the people as is currently happening in the state; thus unite and unanimously vote the party out of office.
The people become aware now that elective positions of trust are preordained for only those who have indelible and enviable track records, foresight, wisdom and boldness to ensure purposeful leadership that would bring the dividends of democracy to the people.
The office of the Governor of a state is an office destined for God fearing people with impeccable character who attach importance to public interest above personal gains.
The office obviously is not meant for the inexperience, self-centered people and greedy politicians whose motive behind entry into politics is borne out of egocentric desire to amass wealth at the detriment of the people.
Bayelsans electorates vote massively for Chief David Lyon and Senator Degi because the duo possesses exemplary leadership qualities and the wealth of experience required to administer the affairs of the state in the interest of all.
The duo (David Lyon and Senator Degi) posses the seven principles of public life – selflessness, integrity, objectivity, accountability, openness, honesty and leadership which are the basic requirement for good leadership to transform the state to a haven of peace, prosperity and unity for the overall benefit of all devoid of sentiments, nepotism and marginalization.
Undoubtedly, Bayelsa electorates voted overwhelmingly for them because the duo are matured and experienced men of rare wisdom, and are tested leaders of exceptional leadership acumen, generosity and integrity to succeed Governor Dickson.
It would be recalled that the outgoing Governor desperation to impose his close associate, Senator Douye Diri and Senator Lawrence Ewhrujakpor to Bayelsans as Governor and Deputy was disappointed at the poll.
Bayelsans indeed has expressed their mind and their need by voting for the APC candidate.
Infact, sovereignty belongs to the people, the electorates are the people constitutional empowered to vote person of their choice as Governor of the state.
The people have taking the final decision to vote candidate of their choice out of the 45 political parties that contested in the election.
Why only one man will be desperate to go to court here and there just to waste the billion of naira so far accumulated.
The APC candidate, Chief David Lyon and Senator Biobarakuma Degi are the choice of the people who will administer the affairs of Bayelsa state on the interest of all.  So, they are the choice of the people waiting to be sworn in on February 14, next years.
Therefore, all Nigerians irrespective of their political leanings should support the wishes of the people of Bayelsa state.
It would be recalled that the APC conduct transparent direct party primary and David Lyon won. But the PDP choice of candidate is not popular and the people voted the party out of office in Bayelsa state.
It is a truism that various sponsored court cases instituted against the Governor-Elect and his running mate Senator Biobarakuma Degi before the governorship  election was not unconnected with the PDP desperation to use any false means to ascend into power but Bayelsans electorates disappointed them despite the billions of naira wasted during the election.
Bayelsans gesture to firmly vote the candidate of their choice during the November 16 governorship election in the state despite the billions of naira at their disposal from PDP is commendable and a step in the right direction. The tempo should be maintained in subsequent elections.
The APC Governor-Elect won six (6) local government areas out of the eight (8). This is an eloquent testimony that the people want him to serve them.
The God Almighty is with them before, during and after the election. There was nothing like loss of life during and after the election.
In fact, it is interesting to note that the security agents played a neutral role during the election just as INEC did while the people vote according to conscience in a peaceful and orderly manner.
What Bayelsans are waiting now is the peaceful swearing in of the Governor-Elect, Chief David Lyon and his Deputy, Senator Biobarakuma Degi.
They are renowned, humane and detribalized leaders of utmost generosity and foresightedness who will accord high priority to the welfare of the people above personal gains.
They have the exceptional leadership qualities to serve the people with the fear of the Almighty God. More grease to your elbow as Bayelsans and the Almighty God is behind you. 

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