Governor Seriake Dickson and Chief Timi Alaibe

A former Managing Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Chief Ndutimi Alaibe, has asked the court to invalidate the primary election that produced Senator Douye Diri as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the November governorship election I Bayelsa State.

Alaibe, who participated as an aspirant in the primary poll, complained that he was brazenly robbed of victory through flawed electoral processes.

Defendants in the suit are the PDP, Diri, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Embeleakpo Alale for himself and representing the elected local government chairmen, vice-chairmen and councillors of the PDP allowed to be delegates at the elective state congress of the party held on September 3.

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Also joined in the suit as defendant, according to a report in The Nation, is Doubra Kumokou, for himself and on behalf of the three Ad-Hoc Delegates allowed to be delegates at the elective State Congress.

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Alaibe in the suit filed at the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, the state capital, demanded the cancellation of the result of the primary election based on procedural flaws.

The suit sought answers to questions bordering on alleged non-adherence to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act 2010, the PDP Constitution and Election Guidelines, by the State Chapter of the party in the conduct of the ward congresses, inclusion of local government council officials in the delegates list and the procedure for inclusion of three ad-hoc delegates.

Citing specific sections of relevant laws and guidelines, Alaibe asked the court to examine the entire processes that resulted in the primaries and rule in his favour.

Prior to the conduct of the primaries, the Timi Alaibe Campaign Organisation raised objections against what it described as gross disrespect for legal procedures and party guidelines.

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Specifically, the Campaign Organisation protested the inclusion of the newly-elected council chairmen, vice-chairmen and councillors in the delegates list contrary to the provisions of the PDP Constitution.

It also objected to the manner in which electoral and returning officers were picked to allegedly favour aspirants endorsed by the leadership of the party in the state and the manner the 315 ad-hoc delegates were directed to vote contrary to already established judicial precedents, among other issues.

Alaibe in the suit wants the court to determine whether the pre-election actions and inactions of the defendants satisfied conditions specified in relevant sections of Nigeria’s Constitution, the Electoral Acts and certain sections of the PDP Constitution.

He prayers that the entire processes be declared unconstitutional and the declaration of Senator Diri as the winner be invalidated having failed to comply with relevant sections of the laws governing such processes.

He also sought an order setting aside the purported submission of Senator Diri’s name to INEC by the PDP as its candidate in the governorship election coming up on November 16, 2019 in view of the several legal and procedural infractions cited.

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He asked the court order the conduct of fresh primary elections for the nomination and sponsorship of the candidate for the governorship election in Bayelsa.


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