The All Progressives Congress(APC) has been disqualified from participating in the Bayelsa State governorship election scheduled for Saturday, November 16.
A Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, on Thursday, nullified the governorship primaries that produced Chief David Lyon as the party’s candidate.
Delivering judgment, Justice Jane Inyang, held that the primaries were conducted arbitrarily outside the rules of the APC.
She held that since the process was conducted in violation of the party’s constitution and guidelines as clearly spelt out for the conduct of governorship primaries, none of the aspirants should be fielded as the party’s candidate.
The judge noted that according to the APC guidelines for the conduct of the governorship primaries, the results were expected to be declared by the returning officer for the election, Governor Mai Kala Buni of Yobe State and not Sen. Emmanuel Ochega, Secretary of the primary committee.
She also held that the APC violated its own rules in the composition of the election panel when it constituted a one-member committee and not seven members as stipulated in the party’s guidelines.
“It has been established by judicial authorities and several judgments that political parties are bound by their own rules, the committee that conducted the primary threw caution to the winds and it is my ruling that the primaries stand nullified.
“The results announced by Sen Emmanuel Ochega is not valid as he is not the returning officer for the election.
“And I make an order restraining INEC from recognising any of the aspirants that participated in the said primaries”,Inyang said.
The suit challenging the conduct of the APC primary held on September 4 and the emergence of Lyon as the party’s candidate was filed by Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri,one of the aspirants in the primary.
Listed as respondents in the case are the APC, Lyon and INEC.
Lokpobiri had claimed that he won the governorship primary of the party using the direct primary mode.