Ex-minister, Sylva to testify at Bayelsa Guber Tribunal against Gov Diri’s re-election

Immediate past Minister of Petroleum, Timipire Sylva will today, Tuesday, in Abuja appear before the Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to testify against the declaration of Governor Douye Diri as winner of the November 11, 2023, governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Sylva, who was the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the gubernatorial poll, will testify as a star witness in his petition seeking nullification of the declaration of Diri as the elected governor.

A hearing notice sighted by the press  showed that the APC governorship candidate would be led in evidence by his lead counsel, Ahmed Raji and Ogwu James Onoja, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

The former Minister, cum former governor of the same Bayelsa State, is expected to narrate to the Tribunal his own side of story on the last gubernatorial election.

Diri, the winner of the election and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, would after Sylva’s evidence cross-examine him on the veracity of the claims and allegations the witness may raise.

Governor Diri is being represented at the Tribunal by a team of senior lawyers led by Chris Uche, SAN.

In the same, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, which conducted the disputed election would also be permitted to cross-examine the APC governorship candidate on his allegations against the election.

According to the Returning Officer, Professor Faruq Kuta, PDP and Diri polled 175,196 votes to defeat his closest rival, Timipre 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.

Justice Adekunle Adeleye, the Chairman of the Tribunal, will preside over today’s session.

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