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Nigerian Politics

Bayelsa guber poll: APC heads to Appeal Court over Sylva’s disqualification

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Bayelsa guber poll: APC heads to Appeal Court over Sylva’s disqualification

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All Progressives Congress in Bayelsa State has vowed to appeal the Federal High Court judgment disqualifying it’s candidate, Timipre Sylva, from contesting in the forthcoming governorship election in the state.

On Monday, Justice Donatus Okorowo ruled that having been sworn in twice and served five years as governor of the state, Sylva would breach the 1999 constitution as amended, if allowed to contest again.

But APC in a statement on Tuesday by its Director, Media and Publicity, Bayelsa Governorship Campaign Council, Perry Tukuwei, said that the suit by the Peoples Democratic Party was in breach of the Electoral Act.

The PDP’s statement read, “The Party has briefed its lawyers to appeal the judgement and it is confident that the Court of Appeal will overturn the judgement of the Federal High Court.

“Our dear Bayelsans, fear not! This clandestine strategy by the PDP should not deter the resolve to elect Chief Timipre Sylva as the next Governor of Bayelsa State.”

See the full statement below:

The Bayelsa All Progressives Congress Gubernatorial Campaign Council has re-assured Bayelsans of a landslide victory at the November 11, 2023 governorship elections and subsequent swearing in of its Governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva on February 14, 2024.

This reassurance is coming on the heels of a judgement which has the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate written all over it by a Federal High Court in Abuja in an already failed bid to dash the hopes of Bayelsans to have their preferred candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva as the next helmsman at Creek Haven by February 14, 2024.

Sections 29 and 84 of the 2022 Electoral Act states that only persons who contested primaries of a political party that has the locus standi to file a pre- election matter to challenge the qualification of the party’s candidate in any election hence the suit filed by one Chief Demesuoyefa Kolomo who is not a member of the All Progressives Congress and didn’t contest our party’s governorship primaries do not have the locus standi to sue in the matter.

Section 285 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution enjoins any aggrieved party to file a or election matter within 14 days of the occurrence of the event but this case was filed on the 13th of June 2023 whereas INEC published the names of the governorship candidates for Bayelsa, IMO and Kogi on the 12th of May 2023. Thus, the case was filed outside the constitutional prescribed 14 days thereby making the case statute barred. It is surprising to the party and Bayelsans that the court ignored the fact that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to sue and went ahead to give judgement in their favour.

Additionally, there is a practice directive by the Supreme Court that all pre-election matters be heard in the state where the primaries took place. To perfect their sinister act, the case was filed in Abuja. Is Abuja, Bayelsa?

Subsequently, the Bayelsa All Progressives Congress can smell the coffee and sinister move by Governor Douye Diri to go through the back door which is his usual practice having realized that our governorship candidate Chief Timipre Sylva is coasting home to victory already following unrivaled acceptance in the eight local government areas of the state.

The Party has briefed its lawyers to appeal the judgement and it is confident that the Court of Appeal will overturn the judgement of the Federal High Court.

Our dear bayelsans, fear not! This clandestine strategy by the PDP should not deter the resolve to elect Chief Timipre Sylva as the next Governor of Bayelsa State.

We will win.