The All Progressives Congress, APC, will next week close its case challenging the declaration of Governor Duoye Diri as the winner of the November 11, 2023, governorship election in Bayelsa State.

At Thursday’s proceedings, the party, alongside its gubernatorial candidate, Timipre Sylva, called additional witnesses to prove their claims that Diri did not win the majority of lawful votes cast at the election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Diri and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, winners of the November 11, 2023, governorship election in Bayelsa State, having won the majority of the votes cast at the election.

According to the returning officer, Professor Faruq Kuta, PDP and Diri polled 175, 196 votes to defeat his closest rival, Timiprey Sylva of APC, who scored 110,108 votes.

Dissatisfied, Sylva and APC approached the tribunal to challenge the declaration of Diri as the winner of the election.

At the hearing on February 14, the petitioners hinted that they would be calling at least 224 witnesses to prove their allegations against the re-election of Governor Diri.


However, the petitioners, on Thursday, after calling four witnesses, sought an adjournment to enable them to call more witnesses to prove their case.

Since the request for adjournment was not opposed by the respondents, the Chairman of the three-member panel of the Bayelsa Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, Justice Adekunle Adeleye, announced Monday and Tuesday next week for the continuation of the trial.

Meanwhile, the petitioners are expected to close their case next week, after which the defendants, which include INEC, Governor Diri, Deputy Governor Lawrence Ewhrujakpo and PDP, will then open their defence.

The petitioners are asking the tribunal to hold that, contrary to the position of the electoral umpire, the election was not held in some polling units and a winner was declared at the said units, adding that it was wrong of INEC to disregard the results at the ward and local government level.

They claim that if the cancelled results were restored by the court, they would emerge as the winners of the November election.

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