Sylva Vs Dickson: Tribunal Judgment Puts Bayelsa On Edge | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Sylva Vs Dickson: Tribunal Judgment Puts Bayelsa On Edge

Posted: Jul 11, 2016 at 6:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Igoniko Oduma

Yenagoa – There is anxiety in Bayelsa State as the people await the judgment of the Bayelsa governorship election tribunal sitting in Abuja in the petition filed by Mr. Timipre Sylva, former governor and candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), challenging the victory of Governor Seriake Dickson of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the December 2015 governorship election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) returned Dickson as winner of the election where he polled 134,998 votes to defeat Sylva who scored 86,852 votes to place second.

In the last stage of arguments by all parties in the case, the panel following an Appeal Court ruling in favour of the petitioner had allowed the petitioner’s video recording it had earlier turned down to be played in an open court.

Sylva had tendered the video recording as evidence to show alleged malpractices in the conduct of the polls that brought Dickson to office for second term ­between December 2015 and January 2016.

Though Dickson had informed the tribunal through his lawyers that he had filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, the tribunal allowed the video recording to be played after parties agreed that playing it would not prejudice the said appeal.

With that done, all the parties in the suit adopted their final briefs of argument.

The petitioner, Sylva, prayed the tribunal to grant the reliefs sought in his petition and declares him duly elected while the respondents, INEC and Dickson and his party, the PDP, asked the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lack of substance and merit.

Since the end of June when the chairman of the tribunal announced that the date of judgment would be communicated 48 hours to the day it would be delivered, tension has gripped Bayelsa over the outcome of the ruling.

It was gathered that the suspense created by the announcement is causing panic in the camps of Dickson and Sylva.

Checks by Independent at the weekend indicated that both Sylva and Dickson have not dismantled their campaign secretariats in Yenagoa, the state capital, six months after the polls.

Sources close to both camps revealed that Sylva and Dickson were waiting for the outcome of the petition at the tribunal to take a decision on their campaign offices.

Although the date of the judgment could not be confirmed, speculations were rife in Yenagoa at the weekend that the panel would deliver judgment today, a development that has heightened tension across the state over which way the pendulum would swing to.