An Appeal Court in Abuja has annulled the judgement of a Federal High Court which disqualified the Deputy-Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo from participating in the Bayelsa State governorship election on November 16, 2019.
Senator Degi-Eremienyo, who is now the deputy governor-elect had challenged the High Court verdict that restrained him from taking part in the recently concluded poll in the Court of Appeal.
Bittertruth Media recalls that Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja had on November 12 disqualified the lawmaker for allegedly supplying false educational information to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as part of requirement for the governorship poll.
However, Justice Stephen Adah which led a three-man panel of the Appeal Court in a ruling held that the High Court erred in law and in breach of the appellant’s right to a fair hearing.
The Appellate court ruled that the case which was brought under Section 36 of the Electoral Act is criminal in nature and the respondents in the case ought to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Senator Degi-Eremienyo gave false information in his form C001 submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as part of his qualifications to contest the election.
It held that more so the lawmaker submitted an affidavit sworn to court to prove that the names Adeyi-Eremienyo on his school-leaving certificate is one and the same as Degi-Eremienyo on his GCE certificate and newspaper cuttings announcing to the whole world a change in name and same was not challenged by the respondents in the lower court as such the findings of the lower court are erroneous.
In his conclusion, the trial judge said, “I agree with the appellant that the owner of the school leaving certificate and the GCE certificate are one and the same and I therefore set aside the judgment of the court below.