Senator Biobarkuma Degi-Eremienyo
By Williams Nsoyoh
The ruling on the Bayelsa State
governorship primaries by the Supreme Court was unprecedented. A
governor-elect and his deputy were unceremoniously removed barely 24
hours to being sworn in.
The decision of the apex court based on the alleged technicalities for
an offence resulting from variations in the names of Senator
Biobarakumo Degi-Eremienyo, the deputy governorship-elect of the state
on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) is still
reverberating across the spectrum in the nation.
Although nobody has laid claims other than him to the names he has
deposed to over the years, a situation which ordinarily would have
proved fraud, yet he was removed by the court based on this. However,
at the state from, the various names he claimed over the years stem
from his Nembe traditional system.
As a grassroots politician who started from the very cradle in Bayelsa
State politics, Degi-Eremienyo has been everything in politics of the
the State as a Ward Councilor to being Vice Chairman and later
Chairman of Nembe Council, these names were never an issue. they were
also not an issue when he was appointed the state’s Commissioner for
Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Commissioner for Health and
now, a serving Senator of the Federal Republic before contesting as
the deputy governorship candidate of the APC in the last governorship
Equally, at the Federal level, he has served as Executive Secretary
for Human Resources and administration, at the Federal Road
Maintenance and Emergency ( FERMA) and member of the Governing Council
of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.
Today, what the Senator regrets most is that the mistakes arising from
names may have given a wrong impression about and dented his image
politically and in the eyes of the law.
To him, most of the errors attributed to his various names are
sometimes due to typographical errors. A process many Nigerians may
have been victims of due to outright mix up in their names.
Senator Degi in an attempt to right the institutionally induced mistake
had secured relevant affidavit and well as publish same in reputable
national newspaper being a requirement for the process of change of in
the country, but that was not good enough in the eyes of the law.
The predicament of Senator Degi-Eremienyo has thought Nigerians new
lessons that the only authority competent to correct anything on
Certificates or any other document was the authority that issued it.
Contrary to what is being practiced by most Nigerians, the Supreme
the court has ruled that the Affidavit of Correction of Name does
conform to the proper manner of changing name or correcting a name on
a Certificate, and that it is only Deed Poll, and not by mere
deposition that a name on an official Certificate can be effected.
According to the new learning, the procedure necessarily affects
official Record and Archives of the nation and that it is after the
Deed Poll that the deponent approaches the Nigerian Civil Registry to
have the change published in the official gazette.
Because these procedures were not followed, the judicial loopholes
were used to disqualified Senator Degi-Eremienyo and the governorship
candidate from being sworn-in as governor and deputy governor of
The judgment of the Supreme Court against the APC governorship
candidate, Mr. David Lyon and Senator Biobarkuma Degi_Eremienyo , was
not a case of forgery of credentials.
The complaint was about a mere variation in his name which changes
were not properly documented.
Even though Senator Degi never had the opportunity to defend himself
with relevant witness at the court of the first jurisdiction, none of the
institutions that awarded the certificate had come out to disclaim
any of the certificates.
There is no evidence that Degi is not educated up to school
certificate level or its equivalent. He has a duly sworn affidavit to the
variants in names and published in a national daily.
Biobarkuma Degi is a known name nationally and occasionally celebrated
in Bayelsa state. He had his early education at Agada Primary school
close to Wangaghakiri where he was born in 1959.
Degi Eremienyo holds a Bachelor Degree in Agric Economics and Master
of Business Administration in Management. He is a chattered Human
Resources Manager and a member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel
After a brief stint with banking, precisely the Pan African Bank, Degi
Eremienyo started his political exploit in 1990 when he contested and
councilor and won in the old Rivers state under option A-4 open ballot
Degi rose rapidly as a grassroots politician and tested all executive
office at the council level until 1999 when he became the second
elected local Government Council Chairman of Nembe council are.
He has served as Commissioner for Local Government, Rural Development
and Chieftancy Affairs, under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan
as the governor of Bayelsa state. He had also served as Commissioner
He has also served as member governing council, Federal University of
Agriculture Abeokuta-Ogun state. He was also the Executive Director
Human Resources and Administration Federal Road Maintenance Agency ( FERMA
Elected and installed a chief in 2001as Chief Eremienyo, he is
committed to the socio-economic and spiritual well being of his
A strong advocate of social order, discipline and communal
culture of respect for seniority and elders.
Degi was Ordained and anointed bishop in 2009, in Brotherhood of
the Cross and Star, a position he has held for years. He believes in
peace, love and oneness of the human family and above all fears of God as
a panacea of societal maladies.
Through his many good deeds both in his community and the larger
society, Senator Degi-Eremienyo has built an enviable reputation for
himself over the year and this had come along with tremendous good
Because he has always cared about his conscience and reputation, he
retains a legion of admirers especially those who have worked closely