The deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last November governorship election in Bayelsa State, Senator Biobarakuma Degi, yesterday said that the Supreme Court judgment that nullified their joint ticket stained his integrity.
Justice Ejembi Ekwo who read the judgment of the five-man panel of the Supreme Court had declared Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo, who was running mate to the APC candidate, Mr. David Lyon to have presented forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Degi-Eremienyo who spoke for the first time to journalists in Abuja on his travails, said that the allegations against him were not proven.
He said the petitioner in the case which terminated at the apex court, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) used the judicial process to grab what did not belong to it.
He said: “The aim of this press conference is to defend my reputation which the Justices of the Supreme Court, whether consciously or unconsciously, subjected to scurrilous scandal, assault and unfair imputation.
“The judgment of the Supreme Court that I was not qualified to contest as the deputy governorship candidate of APC and my attendant disqualification adversely affected the governorship candidate of the APC with the result that our hard-earned victory, not just for ourselves, but our party and the majority of the good people of Bayless state who have entrusted us with the mandate to democratically govern them is threatened.
“The event of my disqualification is distressing and traumatising to me personally and of course a greater trauma, inflicted on my party, the governorship candidate and the good people of Bayelsa State who signified their choice of who should be their governor and deputy governor.
“It is this unsolicited assault on my personality and reputation by the judgment in question that has constrained me to chart this course.
“Unless unfair imputation to character is quickly corrected, it assumes the toga of truth. It was clearly a desperate and calculated attempt not just to grab power through the judicial process but equally to tarnish my good image and bring same to disrepute on completely false and unproven allegations.”
Senator Degi who further claimed that he was denied fair hearing by the Court said he was hopeful that the apex court would review the case in favor of the APC.
“As a lawmaker, I know that what Section 182(1) (j) of the Constitution contemplates is that a candidate cannot present forged educational Certificates not belonging to him to aid his constitutional qualification.
“Forgery can therefore not be defined in different contexts simply to lower the burden of proof in order to meet a political end.
“The seeming discrepancies in my name, which I have adequately explained by an affidavit was not impeached by any evidence that the names were misspelled by the issuing authorities. The issuing authorities who are accessible by my accusers were not called to impeach my assertion in the affidavit explaining away these errors I stated which were not illegal.
“As a lawmaker, I have enormous regard for the judiciary. I am aware that my party has headed to Supreme Court for a review of the judgment. By the grace of God, our second journey to the Supreme Court will end in celebration.”