The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal on Saturday dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state, Owei Tongue Woniwei, for being incompetent as it amounts to an academic exercise.
In the judgment delivered by a member of the three-man tribunal, sitting in Abuja, Justice Owodunni held that the tribunal has jurisdiction to hear the petition brought by Woniwei.
The tribunal further held that the state deputy governor, Senator Lawrence Owhrudjapko, is eminently qualified to contest the election having fulfilled the provision of Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the alleged error on the certificate was corrected by the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), which was corroborated by an NYSC Director.
Also, the petitioner did not prove his case therefore the petition was dismissed.
The sum of N200,000 was awarded in favour of all the three respondents except the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The petitioner had in the petition claimed that Owhrudjakpo was not qualified to contest for the position of deputy governor in the November 16, 2019 governorship election, having presented a forged certificate to INEC.
He further claimed that the deputy governor submitted to INEC affidavit of the statutory declaration of age containing false fundamental information in aid of his qualification for the election.
The petitioner, who contested the governorship election on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD), therefore, sought a declaration of the tribunal that both Diri and Ewhrudjakpo were not qualified to contest the election.
He also sought a declaration that the statutory declaration of age sworn to by the second respondent contains false information.
Meanwhile, the tribunal is currently delivering judgment in another petition before it.