BAYELSA GUBER ELECTION: Why Appeal Court Validated Timipre Sylva’s Candidacy | READ MORE
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja, has vacated the judgement of the Federal High Court Abuja which disqualified Chief Timipre Sylva, the APC governorship candidate from participating in the November 11, 2023 election.
Ruling on Tuesday, a three-member panel led by by Justice Binta Zubairu, held that Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, was wrong in ordering the sack of Sylva as the APC governorship candidate
According to the court, the trial court was erred in having assumed jurisdiction in the matter on grounds that the plaintiff at the Federal High Court, Mr Demesuoyefa Kolomo, lacked the necessary locus standi to initiate the suit in the first place, having not participated in the primary election that produced Sylva as the flag bearer of the APC in the forthcoming election.
The appellate court said the issue of jurisdiction is fundamental in an election matter, and since the lower court had no jurisdiction in the first place, all actions taken in the matter are declared a nullity.
The appellate court, also awarded a cost of N1 million against Kolomo.
Recall that the high court had in a judgement it delivered on October 9, declared that Sylva who is the immediate past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, was not eligible to participate in the gubernatorial contest having already spent five years in office as governor of the state.
The court stressed that since the 1999 Constitution, as amended, okayed a maximum tenure of eight years for a governor, should Sylva contest and win the impending election, he would exceed the constitutional threshold by spending a total of nine years in office.
Justice Donatus Okorowo held that uncontroverted evidence that was adduced before the court established that Sylva had earlier taken the oath of office as Bayelsa state governor, on two occasions.
Relying on a Supreme Court decided case law in Marwa Vs Nyako, the judge held that the constitution could not be stretched to elongate the statutory period that someone could serve as a governor in the country.
He declared that Sylva was not a valid candidate for the forthcoming Bayelsa state governorship poll.
The court directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to remove his name from the list of candidates for the election.