The Bayelsa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Tuesday ordered His Excellency, Douye Diri and his Deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, who are the 3rd and 4th Respondents respectively in the petition filed by Vijah Eldred Opuama to be served through substituted means.
This followed the application made before the Tribunal through an ex-parte motion filed on the 4th day of March 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 have 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 Peoples’ 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 Peoples’ Democratic Party, the 2nd Respondent’s national office at Micheal 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.
It would be recalled that the flag bearer of Liberation Movement (LM) in the last governorship elections in Bayelsa State, Vijah Eldred Opuama, approached the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, seeking for the disqualification of the newly sworn-in Deputy Governor, Mr. Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo.
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 Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) failed to comply with the 1999 Constitution.
Opuama listed INEC, the PDP, Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri and his Deputy, Lawrence Erwhudjakpo, as respondents to the petition.
Opuama in the petition alleged that Ewhrudjakpo, the 4th respondent, submitted an affidavit to INEC, the 1st respondent, that contained false information.