Violent Protests: Police Impose Curfew On Bayelsa

The Bayelsa State Police Command on Friday imposed a 3-day dusk-to-dawn curfew on the state following the violent protests that broke out in parts of the state in reaction to the Supreme Court sacking of David Lyon and his deputy.

The state Commissioner of Police, Uche Anozia, announced the curfew at a press conference in Yenagoa, the state capital, shortly before the swearing-in of Senator Douye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party as the new governor of the state and Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo as his deputy, by the state Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, at the Government House.

Recall that the Supreme Court had on Thursday nullified the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state, David Lyon, and his running mate, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo.

The apex court voided their election because Lyon’s deputy submitted forged certificates bearing different names.

A five-man panel of the apex court, headed by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, therefore ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to withdraw the Certificate of Return issued to Lyon and his running mate and reissue it to the candidate with the highest number of lawful votes cast and with the required constitutional spread.

Consequently INEC on Friday declared Diri as the winner of the election and he was sworn in.

Chairman of INEC, Prof Mahmood Yakubu, who addressed a news conference in Abuja, noted that by virtue of the Supreme Court judgement, the total number of votes cast in the election was 146,999, out of which the candidate of the PDP scored 143,172 with geographical spread.

READ ALSO: Bayelsa: APC Heads Back To Court

All these did not seat well the APC supporters in Bayelsa State as they took to the streets destroying and vandalizing public and private properties and also setting bonfires on major roads in the state.

The protests which began on Thursday after the Supreme Court judgement continued till Friday evening prompting the police to impose the curfew.

Addressing journalists on the protests, the police commissioner, flanked by the heads of other security agencies, stated that the curfew would start on Friday and end on Sunday, between 8p.m and 6a.m each day.

“Following the outcome of the Supreme Court judgment with respect to the Bayelsa State governorship election, which was made public on Thursday, February 13, 2020, angry protesters stormed the streets of Yenagoa.

“The police command is hereby imposing a dusk-to-dawn curfew for three days; from Friday, February 14, 2020 to Sunday, February 16, 2020, from the hours of 8p.m to 6a.m,” Anozia said.

He advised members of the public to stay indoors as security operatives would be out to arrest and prosecute anyone who violated the curfew.