Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva has said the sacked Deputy Governor-elect of Bayelsa state, Senator Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo was on the verge of taking his own life after the Supreme Court’s judgement that nullified the election of Governor-elect, David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress (APC) 24 hours to the inauguration.
Sylva who disclosed this on Monday when he appeared on Channels TV breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, said Degi-Eremienyo was not given fair hearing by the apex court. He faulted the judgement which he said failed to establish that the former Deputy Governor-elect forged his certificates.
“It was a very sad for me. We are not saying that the Supreme Court erred, we are only saying that they overlooked certain things and those things they overlooked were brought to their attention.
“Anybody that says this is not a matter of life and death really doesn’t understand the issues. I’m dealing with a Deputy-Governor that is at the verge of committing suicide. This is a matter of life and death. Every day I have to call to find out that he hasn’t done anything to himself.
“If you’re here and somebody just said you forged your certificate and you have built your life on that integrity and seven or five people sit there and bring everything down, that can actually lead to suicide” he said.
“If you have a case in court challenging the authenticity of the certificate of a candidate, that is a different problem. But if you now say that you are going to establish forgery and you have not even heard the person concerned, because forgery is criminal and if it is a criminal procedure, then we know that it shouldn’t have come by way of originating summons, it should have come by way of writ of summon so that you can call witnesses.
“You haven’t gone to the institutions that the person attended to confirm the veracity of those certificates. And from paper evidence, you condemned such a person.
“They claim he forged certificate, which certificate did he forge? Was it his primary certificate or university certificate? What has been established?
“If you want to prove forgery, then you must have the original. Now you say you have a variant in the name, so which one is the original? None of that was established. That is not how to prove forgery.
“If you say you are upholding the judgement of the lower court, then the judgement of the lower court did not disqualify our governorship candidate, so where did the Supreme Court have this other thing to add to the judgement of the lower court? If you are going to uphold the judgement of the lower court, then disqualify the deputy governor and allow the governor to carry on” he added.