The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Douye Diri, as winner of the Bayelsa governorship election in following Thursday Supreme Court judgment.
The Chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, made the declaration at a news conference on Friday at the commission headquarters in Abuja.
Yakubu said that INEC had received the Certified True Copy (CTC) of the judgment of the apex court which disqualified the deputy governorship candidate of the APC and vitiated the joint ticket of the party earlier declared winner in the election.
The court also ordered the commission to “declare as winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa state the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast with the requisite constitutional (or geographical spread).
“In compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court, the commission met this morning and reviewed the result of the election in which 45 political parties contested.
“Without the votes scored by the APC, whose candidates were deemed not to have participated in the election, the total number of lawful and valid votes cast in the election now stands at 146,999.
“Out of this figure, the candidate of the PDP scored the highest number of lawful votes with 143,172.
“Similarly, the party has scored more than 25 per cent of the lawful votes cast in all the eight Local Government Areas of the State.
“Furthermore, the total number of registered voters in places where election was not held or cancelled as a result of sundry violations is 90,822. The candidate of the Accord party has the next highest score with 1,339 votes.
“The margin of lead between the candidates of the PDP and the Accord party is 141,833 votes. With this outcome, the election is conclusive at first ballot.
“Consequently, Sen. Diri and Sen. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo of the PDP are hereby declared winners and returned elected as Governor and Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State respectively.’’
Yakubu said that detailed result would be uploaded on INEC’s website and social media platforms shortly.
He said that the commission was aware that the tenure of the incumbent governor of Bayelsa ended at midnight Friday Feb. 14.
“Therefore, in fulfillment of the requirement of Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) the Certificates of Return to the Governor and Deputy Govemor-elect will be presented to them immediately as ordered by the Supreme Court,’’ Yakubu said.