The Court of Appeal sitting in Port Harcourt on Saturday held that Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri’s petition, challenging the APC governorship primary election in Bayelsa was filed out of time.
Justice Isaiah Olefemi, in the lead judgment, held that Lokpobiri failed to comply with the statutory 14 days period, saying that he ought to have filed the case not later than Sept. 17, 2019.
“The matter was filed on Sept. 18, outside the 14 days statutory period. The petition was not filed within time,’’ the Justice stated.
It will be recalled that Lokpobiri, a former Minister of State for Agriculture, had approached a Federal High Court, challenging the emergence of Chief David Lyon as the governorship candidate of the APC in Bayelsa.
He had prayed the court to declare him the candidate of the APC, saying that he and not Lyon won the party’s governorship primaries in the state.
The lower court had ruled outside its prayers, declaring that APC had no candidate for the election.
The appeal court, however, held that although Lokpobiri had the right to contest the outcome of the party’s governorship primaries, he only did so outside the stipulated time.
The appellate court further held that the parties were right to challenge the lower court’s decision which said that APC had no candidate for the Nov. 16, 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa.
The upper court, therefore, set aside the judgment of the lower court, describing it as having erred in law.