Timipre Sylva: Lyon’s running mate on the verge of suicide - Welcome to Uju Ayalogu's Blog

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Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Timipre Sylva: Lyon’s running mate on the verge of suicide

Timipre Sylva: Lyon’s running mate on the verge of suicide

Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, says Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo is on the verge of committing suicide over the certificate forgery allegation against him.

The supreme court had sacked David Lyon, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2019 governorship election in Bayelsa state — a day to his swearing-in.

Lyon was declared winner of the election but the supreme court sacked him on the grounds that Degi-Eremienyo, his running mate, presented forged documents to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The APC asked the apex court to review its decision sacking Lyon but the court struck out the application.

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Speaking when he featured on Sunrise Daily, a programme on Channels Television, Sylva, the APC leader in the state, described the judgment as a matter of life and death.

He said he has to constantly check up on Degi-Eremienyo to be sure that the deputy governor-elect has not harmed himself.

Degi-Eremienyo had said the court’s ruling left him traumatised, adding that he is not guilty of the allegation.

Sylva said building one’s integrity on a certificate and having it upturned suddenly without a chance to defend one’s self is dangerous and could lead to suicide.

“Anybody that says it is not a matter of life and death doesn’t really understand the issue,” Sylva said.

“I’m today, dealing with a former deputy governor that is on the verge of committing suicide. Every day I have to call to be sure that he hasn’t done anything to himself.

“If you were here and somebody just said you forged your certificate, you built your life on that integrity and somebody–seven people, five people, all of a sudden bring everything down, that can actually lead to suicide.

“You’re now stigmatised for life as having forged your certificate.

“If you have a case in court challenging the authenticity of the certificate of a candidate, that is a different problem, but if you say you’re going to establish forgery and you have not heard from the person concerned, then you have not established anything.

“You haven’t gone to school or university where this person studied to confirm the veracity of the certificate and from paper evidence, you condemn such a person, it’s really very sad and for me, it is very dangerous.

“Forgery is supposed to be a criminal offence and when you have this kind of situation you have to come out and correct the impression. There was no forgery here at all. There were just variants of the name on the certificate and the Supreme Court went ahead to uphold the judgment of a lower court.”

Sylva also said the apex court “seemed to have made a decision against the principles of justice”.

He argued that the judgment of the lower court which the supreme court upheld sacked only Degi-Eremienyo, not Lyon.

“We are also saying that the Supreme Court has introduced extraneous things to that judgment. That judgment said that the deputy governor had been disqualified, but that judgment did not disqualify the governorship candidate,” he said.

“Supreme Court went ahead and disqualified the governorship candidate. Where did that come before the court because you don’t give what was not asked?

“We’re not saying that the Supreme Court erred, were saying that they overlooked certain things.”

Lyon had asked Bayelsans not to blame Degi-Eremienyo for his removal.

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