The APC and its candidate in the last governorship election in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, have filed their appeal against the July 26, 2016 judgment of the state’s Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which upheld the election of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party.
Mr. Sebastine Hon, the appellants, through their counsel, filed their appeal at the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal on August 14, 2016, contending that the judgment of the tribunal was faulty, adding that it misapplied relevant laws. The appellants raised 24 grounds of appeal.
Punch reported that they argued, among others, that the three-man bench of the tribunal, led by Justice Kazeem Alogba, misled itself, misapplied the law and came to the wrong conclusion in its verdict.
Sylva and the APC asked the Court of Appeal to, among others, set aside the judgment and grant their prayers as contained in their petition.
The appellants argued that the tribunal erred in law when it held that the reasons given by the Independent National Electoral Commission to cancel the election was within the provision of Section 26(1) of the Electoral Act (EA) 2010.
They argued that Section 26(1) of the Electoral Act has no provision for ‘cancellation’ of election, but ‘postponement’ of election.
“The phrase ‘other emergencies’ under Section 26(1) E A is limited to the action of INEC ‘postponing’ an election and not ‘cancelling one that had already taken place,” they appellants said.
They noted that their major complaint was that INEC’s Electoral Officer in the state acted unlawfully in cancelling the result of elections already held in Southern Ijaw Local Government on December 6, 2015.
They maintained that the tribunal was wrong to have upheld INEC’s claim that the election was postponed but cancelled.
The appellants also faulted the tribunal for allegedly making contradictory findings when, having found out that Forms EC8A containing the polling unit results of election in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, turned around to conclude that no valid election was held in the area on December 6, 2016.
They argued that the tribunal’s judges “misdirected themselves in law when they held that the appellant (he) failed to prove and or tender any documents showing that election results had been uploaded on the database of INEC before the cancellation of the election and that such failure not only meant abandonment of pleading, but withholding of evidence, which if tendered, would be fatal to the appellants.
The appellants further faulted the tribunal, arguing that its judges erred in law when, in their haste to dismiss the appellants’ case in respect of Southern Ijaw LGA, they deliberately refused to judicially evaluate the evidence called by the appellants in proof of their case in that LGA.