The Court of Appeal in Abuja has overturned the decision of the National Assembly and State House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Bayelsa State, which had previously set aside the election of Fred Agbedi, the representative for Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency. Agbedi, a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), won the February 2023 National Assembly poll.
The three-member panel, headed by Justice Muhammed Shuaibu, upheld Agbedi’s election victory and dismissed the appeal filed by Michael Olomu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC). Justices Habeeb Abiru and Abdul-Azeez Waziri were also part of the panel.
The appeal stemmed from the tribunal’s ruling on September 7, marked EPT/BY/HR/01/2023, where the APC candidate contested the election results, leading to the nullification of Agbedi’s election victory. The tribunal directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw Agbedi’s certificate of return and ordered a supplementary poll within 90 days in specific polling units.
However, the Court of Appeal found Olomu’s appeal to be unmeritorious, reinstating Agbedi’s election victory and overturning the previous tribunal decision. The ruling is a significant development in the electoral landscape of Bayelsa State.