Ade Adesomoju and Daniels Igoni
The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed the appeal filed by a Bayelsa State Peoples Democratic Party governorship aspirant, Timi Alaibe, challenging the emergence of Governor Duoye Dori as the party’s candidate in the 2019 election.
A five-man panel of the apex court led by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour struck out the appeal.
Alaibe’s lawyer, Chief Ifedayo Adedipe, withdrew the appeal after the panel members pointed his attention to the fact that the issues raised in the appeal were not about the primary election, but about an internal affair of the party.
Alaibe, who lost the suit at the Federal High Court, Owerri, and the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal, had in the suit challenged the participation of two delegates, who voted in the primary that produced Diri as the party’s candidate.
In the preliminary inquiry preceding the hearing on Tuesday, the Justice Rhodes-Vivour panel informed Adedipe that his case could not be categorised as a pre-election matter that a court could entertain, but about an internal affair of the party, which the court lacked jurisdiction to entertain.
Adedipe then withdrew the suit, which was subsequently struck out.
In a related development, immediate past governor of the state, Seriake Dickson, congratulated Governor Diri and the Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, over the Supreme Court judgment.
Dickson, in a statement signed by his media adviser, Mr Fidelis Soriwei, described the verdict as “a victory for democracy, Bayelsa and indeed the Ijaw nation.”