In a recent development, the Abuja Court of Appeal has overturned the decision to invalidate Chief Timipre Sylva’s candidacy in the All Progressives Congress (APC). Justice Binta Zubairu, in her leading judgment, concluded that the Federal High Court’s ruling, presided over by Justice Donatus Okorowo, was erroneous when it ordered Sylva’s removal as the APC’s candidate for the Bayelsa State governorship election set for November 11.
The appellate court pointed out that the trial court made a mistake by assuming jurisdiction over the matter, as the plaintiff at the Federal High Court lacked the necessary standing to initiate the lawsuit, given their non-participation in the primary election that had chosen Sylva as the APC’s flag bearer.
Emphasizing the critical importance of jurisdiction in election-related cases, the appellate court ruled that since the lower court lacked jurisdiction from the outset, all actions taken in the case were considered null and void.
Moreover, the appellate court stressed that a judgment rendered without jurisdiction, regardless of its quality, amounts to an exercise in futility. Consequently, the appellate court nullified Justice Donatus Okorowo’s decision that had previously annulled Sylva’s participation in the November 11 election.
As a result of this significant judgment, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is now required to reinstate Sylva as the APC’s candidate for the upcoming governorship election in Bayelsa State. Additionally, Justice Zubairu awarded a cost of N1 million in favor of Sylva.
CREDIT: Channel Tv