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Supreme Court Decision on Bayelsa Violates Sanctity of Ballot Box – SAN

A senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Louis Alozie has faulted the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria which nullified the election of the former governor-elect of Bayelsa State, David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Alozie contended that the Supreme Court should not have voided Lyon’s election but allow him pick another deputy governor.
He said that by voiding Lyon’s election, the apex court has taken away the right of the people of Bayelsa State to choose their own leader.
“For me, the decision violates the sanctity of ballot box. It is the inviolable right of the people to choose their leaders,” he said.
According to him: “The supreme court seems to have taken away that right. A deputy Governor or vice president has always been known to be a spare tyre.
“The election in question is Governorship election and not Deputy Governorship election.
“My view is that after the election, where it is found that the Deputy Governor is not qualified, the Governor ought to be allowed to choose another deputy.
The senior lawyer recalled: “This was the position taken by the courts in Nwakanma Okoro Vs Sam Mbakwe in 1979. Mbakwes running mate was found disqualified.
“Mbakwe was allowed to choose another Deputy. He chose Prince Isaac Uzoigwe, in place of Dr Bernard Amalaha. His election was not voided,” he argued.
Alozie maintained that the Supreme Court ought to have ordered for a fresh election and not to deny the people of Bayelsa their freely chosen Governor.

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