PDP withdraws petition against INEC, APC

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has withdrawn its petition before the Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja against the Independent National Electoral Commission ( INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC)

The PDP had before the Supreme Court’s verdict challenged the emergence of Mr David Lyon of the APC as the duly elected governor in November 2019 governorship election

But in a twist on Feb. 13, the Supreme Court overturned the election of Lyon as the governor-elect and disqualified the APC’s deputy governorship candidate, Biobarakum Degi-Eremienyo, as a candidate in the election.

At the resumed sitting on Tuesday, counsel to the petitioner, John Okoriko informed the three-man panel headed by Justice Muhammad Sirajo that he had an application before the tribunal dated and filed Feb 18

In the application, the counsel prayed for an order granting the petitioner leave to withdraw the petition against the respondents in view of the Supreme Court’s judgment of Feb. 13 which declared the petitioner and its candidate Sen. Douye Diri as the winner of the Nov.16 governorship election.

The application also urged the tribunal to deem the application as properly filed and adopt same for the interest of peace and justice for Bayelsa.

The application in addition prayed the tribunal to make additional orders as deemed fit in the circumstances.

Sirajo in response however said the petitioner could not seek to withdraw its application in the interest of peace and justice, but on the ground that the petition was incompetent based on the present turn of event.

Ibrahim Bawa, counsel to INEC on his part said he had no objection to the application, he however pointed out some observations.

Bawa said one of the observations was the petitioner’s counsel failure to comply with Rule 20, paragraph 29 (4) of the election rules which stated that there must be a signed affidavit by the petitioner himself attached to the application.

Counsel to APC, P. Abah equally said in pursuant to Supreme Court’s judgment, he had no objection to the petitioner withdrawing its petition.

Sirajo therefore said ” We have noted your observations and in the absence of no objection, the application is granted. The petition is hereby struck out”.

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