*** PDP and legal team to meet this week
*** Is there any hope? Dickson Supporters ask each other
Today, Monday 27 August, 2012 Court of Appeal sitting in Port
Harcourt, Rivers State has reserved judgment for an appeal filed by
the candidate of the Change Advocacy Party (CAP)
over the July 11 verdict of the Bayelsa State Governorship Election
Petition Tribunal, Yenagoa, which declared Henry Seriake Dickson as
Governor of Bayelsa State.
The Change Advocacy Party (CAP) and its governorship candidate,
Dr. Imoro Goodhead Kubor, who filed an appeal at the higher Court
challenging the ruling of the Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Sirajo-led
The Appeal Court sat exactly 10.00 am this morning with five (5)
Justices that presided over the matter after hearing from both parties
with their oral arguments why the matter is before the Court of
Presenting their oral argument, Counsel to Dr. Imoro Goodhead Kubor,
A.J. Owonikoko, SAN who took the floor at the first instant said the
Appellant brief of argument which he formulated four (4) issues out of
the ten grounds of appeal and implore their lordship to adopt that
brief and rely on it, praying for a favourable determination of the
matter at stake.
A.J. Owonikoko, SAN further argued that whether invalidly sponsored
candidate by a political party can rise on his stage of nomination?
That Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson was not nominated by the party. That
the right of a party to nominate is separate from the duty of the
party to validly sponsor a candidate. Now in this case, as par the
close of nomination, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson was not a candidate
with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) has no candidate.
That Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson then filed an action in Abuja, less
than twenty three (23) days to the election and base on that action,
he (Dickson) claimed that he was entitled to contest while he
(Owonikoko, SAN) argued that Hon Dickson was a disqualified candidate
because his name must be emerged and must be recognize by INEC not
less than thirty (30) days to the date of the election. His nomination
must be valid in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria and the Electoral Act (as amended 2010), that Hon.
Henry Seriake Dickson was not qualified to be elected into office of
Governor of Bayelsa State as required by law.
He thanked God that the matter is being heard today on its merit,
because they were apprehensive and the logistics of the court system
were judges are already on vacation might have affected the court but
still managed to rose to the occasion. Asked on why the court engaged
him of several questions, he said when court engages you the Judges
has painstakingly read and appreciates the issue. So questions pose by
court is to enable them reach Justice and the conduct of the court was
very satisfactory even the led counsel of the other side thank them
for today’s sitting.
A.J. Owonikoko, SAN said he is hopeful especially because the case of
Dangana that was recurrent in all the arguments was a decision of this
(Appeal Court) which the Supreme Court has upheld. And unfortunately
it was not available at the lower Tribunal so their Lordships didn’t
had the benefit of having it before ruling, so in our view it should
be helpful to this Honourable Court.
Meanwhile, our reliable source said the leadership of the Peoples
Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State has called for an emergency
meeting with Dickson’s legal team for the appeal court on how best
they will brainstorm for the way forward in the matter. This issue is
now a public discourse in Yenagoa the state capital and its environ as
various supporters are now asking each other of their fate especially
the political appointees.
One political observer said is like a dark day in the state capital
were people discuss on the issue without going back to their various
homes to attend domestic matters. According to him, those that were
present at the appeal court today too were confused of the level of
arguments especially Dr. Kubor’s lawer. A.J. Owonikoro, SAN still
insisted that “the law assists only the vigilant and not the