Nigerian gorvenor loses his job by court order

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The Appeal Court sitting in Port Harcourt, capital of Nigeria’s oil-rich Rivers state, Tuesday nullified the election of Timipre Sylva of the neighbouring Bayelsa State and ordered the swearing in of Speaker Werinipre Seibarugo, as acting governor, according to local media reports.

In the judgement read by Justice S. A. Ibiyeye, the Appeal Court nullified the decision of the Bayelsa State Election Petitions Tribunal which upheld the election of Sylva in the 14 April 2007 governorship election, saying there was no election in the state.

In a unanimous decision, the five justices of the Appeal Court ordered the immediate swearing in of the Speaker as acting governor until a new election is held.

The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a new governorship election in the state within three months.

After losing at the tribunal, the governorship candidate of Nigeria’s most active oposition party, the Action Congress (AC), Ebitimi Amgbara, took his case to the Appeal Court and eventually got judgment against Sylva, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Also Tuesday, the same Court of Appeal dismissed the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) against Governor Ikeddi Ohakim of Imo State.

After dismissing the petition, the court awarded N30,000 cost against the petitioner. Panapress.

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