By Don Pedro Obaseki, PhD
Bayelsa takes us back to the Landmark judgements of the 1979 Awolowo v. Shagari case. The Electoral Act and the Constitution prescribes winning one quarter (25%) of the votes in two thirds (66.6%) of all the Local Govt areas of the state
Now Bayelsa State has Eight (8) LGAs. PDP scored above the mandatory 25% in 5 LGAs, while scoring 19% in a 6th LGA. (See Table below)
Now here is the conundrum. Does 5 LGAs constitute two thirds of 8 LGAs? NO! On the other hand, does 6 LGAs constitute two thirds of 8 LGAs? Also NO!
2/3 of 8 LGAs is 5.33 LGAs!
This brings the option of “THE DOCTRINE OF SUBSTANTIAL COMPLIANCE”
In 1979, Shagari’s lawyer, Chief Richard Akinjide, SAN, came up with 12 two third as the two thirds of 19 states – with the 13th state divided into three and votes cast in two thirds of the state constituting the figure from whence came two thirds of votes said to have been secured by Shagari, earning him the constitutionally required votes.
This was accepted by 6 of the 7 judges, with only Kayode Eso, JSC dissenting. Those who agreed with the “Arithmetic” of Akinjide (The doctrine of substantial Compliance) were Atanda Fatai Williams, Andrews Otutu Obaseki, Chike Idigbe, Mohammed Bello, Mohammed Uwais, and Ayo Irikefe.
Now, to solve that Conundrum:
- So, will we now have 5 two third as the two thirds of 8 Local Govt Areas – with the 6th Local Govt Area divided into three and votes cast in two thirds of the LGA constituting the figure from whence comes two thirds of votes said to have been secured by PDP’s candidate, Duoye Diri thus earning him the constitutionally required votes?
- Since the Candidacy of APC’s David Lyon and his running mate was NULL and VOID, can the votes cast to them be legal valid votes when their candidacy was nullified? Since they were not ELIGIBLE to participate in the Election, can they EARN Votes? If their votes are Null, since their candidacy was null ab initio, then the NEW Total VOTES will be All Votes MINUS the Votes credited to APC’s David Lyon and his running mate. In that case, the PDP stands duly elected. Incontrovertibly.