Court reverses judgement disqualifying Bayelsa deputy governor-elect
An appeal court in Abuja has reversed the judgment of a Federal Hight Court disqualifying Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo as the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Bayelsa State governorship election.
Justice Iyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday, November 12 disqualified Degi-Eremienyo for allegedly supplying false information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The judge said Degi-Eremienyo gave false information in relation to his educational qualifications and held that all his documents bore different names.
Degi-Eremienyo, however, challenged the High Court verdict that restrained him from participating in the election the APC won.
A three-man panel chaired by Justice Stephen Adah on Monday ruled that the High Court erred in law and in breach of the appellant’s right to a fair hearing.
Justice Adah said the case which was brought under Section 36 of the Electoral Act is criminal in nature and the respondents in the case ought to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Senator Degi-Eremienyo gave false information in his form C001 submitted to INEC as part of his qualifications to contest the election.
“I agree with the appellant that the owner of the school leaving certificate and the GCE certificate are one and the same and I therefore set aside the judgment of the court below,” Justice Adah said.
The court said Degi-Eremienyo submitted an affidavit to prove that the names Adeyi-Eremienyo on his school-leaving certificate are the same as Degi-Eremienyo on his GCE certificate and newspaper cuttings announcing a change of name.