The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has ordered that Bayelsa State governor, Senator Douye Diri and his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, who are the 3rd and 4th respondents respectively in the petition filed by Vijah Eldred Opuama, governorship candidate of Liberation Movement (LM), be served through substituted means.
This followed the application made before the tribunal through an ex-parte motion filed on the March 4, 2020.
In the affidavit deposed to by one Judith Edith, secretary in the law firm, P. D. Pius and Associates, in support of the application, the petitioner stated that several attempts had been made to serve the petition on the 3rd and 4th respondents without success.
“It is necessary that the petition, notice of petition and accompanying processes be served on the 3rd and 4th respondents.
“The 3rd and 4th respondents are members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP); the 2nd respondent whose national office is at Micheal Okpara Way, Wuse Zone 5, FCT, Abuja and the 3rd and 4th respondents regularly visit the said office.
“The 3rd and 4th respondents will certainly become aware of this case if the processes are pasted on the door of People’s Democratic Party, the 2nd respondent’s national office at Michael Okpara Way, Wuse Zone 5, FCT, Abuja, or on the notice board of this tribunal. The 3rd and 4th respondents regularly visit this tribunal and its notice board as they were parties in Petition No. EPT/BY/GOV/01/2019” He stated.
Opuama in his petition before the tribunal is seeking the disqualification of Ewhrudjakpo over alleged false information supplied to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Opuama, in a petition he filed through his counsels, Pius Danba, Aluzu Ebikebuna; and Ebi Robert, further prayed the court to cancel the November 16, 2019 governorship election and order a fresh poll alleging that the election conducted by the (INEC) failed to comply with the 1999 Constitution.