Posted by: Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa

 


A former Governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, has withdrawn his case against Senator Ben Murray-Bruce at the National and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Yenagoa.

Sylva contested the Bayelsa east senatorial election on April 8 on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) but lost to Murray-Bruce of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).sylva

The former governor, however, protested the outcome of the election and later dragged the winner to the tribunal.

But Mr. Sydney Ibanichuka, the lawyer to Sylva, was said to have withdrawn the matter on the directive of his client.

Though no reason was given for the withdrawal, it was gathered that the move was done out of personal sacrifice and the need to maintain the peace in the Senatorial district.

The lawyer was reported to have said: “Well, the reason for the withdrawal is best known to the petitioners but they have agreed to withdraw for the interest of peace in Bayelsa and Nigeria at large.”

“I want to see the withdrawal as a personal sacrifice from their hearts. The petitioner had secured the tribunal’s order to inspect the election materials.

“Also, he secured an order for forensic experts to examine the materials. They had a good case that bothers on irregularities in the election. The decision is a sacrifice.”

At the hearing on Thursday in Yenagoa, the presiding Chairperson of the tribunal, Justice Ononeze Madu, said the tribunal was committed to ensuring justice and had accepted the decision of the petitioners.

But a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Justice Duro Adeyele, who is a lawyer to Murray-Bruce, said the action was in people’s interest.

He said the matter was withdrawn after it had gone through the pre-hearing stage.

Sylva in his petition asked the tribunal to declare that Murray-Bruce was not qualified to contest the election because of his dual citizenship.

He further asked the court to declare him the winner of the election following alleged irregularities perpetrated by the PDP.

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