The Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Petition Tribunal has nullified the election of Governor Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State.
The election was nullified based on a petition by the Advanced Nigeria Democratic Party (ANDP), which argued that it was unlawfully excluded from participating in the election.
The tribunal ruling can, however, still be challenged at the appeal court.
The ANDP had through its governorship candidate, King Lucky George, and National Chairman, Charles Ogboli, approached the tribunal seeking the nullification of the November 19, 2019 governorship election.
The party demanded an order for fresh election on the grounds that its name and logo were excluded from the ballot papers used for the election.
The counsel to the party, Kehinde Ogunwumiju (SAN), told the tribunal that INEC witnessed and monitored its governorship primary and that it was curious and unacceptable that the electoral body later excluded it from the election.
The counsel to INEC, Ibrahim Bawa (SAN), told the tribunal that after examining the evidence tabled by the petitioners, the commission preferred not to call any witness.
The lawyers for the PDP, Emmanuel Enoidem, and Governor Diri of Bayelsa, Gordy Uche (SAN), spoke along the same line, saying instead of calling witnesses, they would submit documents to the tribunal.
The ANDP was registered as a political party on August 14, 2018, along with 23 other parties. However, it was deregistered on February 6, 2020, for failing to meet the guidelines stipulated by the constitution which expect parties to at least win a seat in any of the elections conducted -presidential, governorship, chairmanship or councillorship.
The affected parties, including ANDP, are now in court challenging their deregistration.
Monday’s ruling comes two days after the tribunal dismissed three other petitions against the election of Mr Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party.