Had reported that Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a judgement delivered on Monday, disqualified Sylva from contesting in the governorship election.
Okorowo ruled that Sylva, having been sworn in twice and ruled for five years as Governor of Bayelsa, would breach the 1999 constitution as amended if allowed to contest again.
In response to a recent ruling by Mr. Perry Tukuwei, the Director of Media and Publicity for the APC Bayelsa Gubernatorial Campaign Council, the party has expressed its intention to challenge the decision. The ruling, made by a Federal High Court in Abuja, disqualified Chief Timipre Sylva, who has previously served as Bayelsa’s governor, from contesting again due to a potential violation of the 1999 constitution as amended.
The APC has already instructed its legal team to appeal the judgement, and it maintains confidence that the Court of Appeal will overturn the Federal High Court’s decision. The party views this ruling as having a bias in favor of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, which it believes is an attempt to thwart the aspirations of the Bayelsa people who support Chief Timipre Sylva as their preferred candidate for the upcoming election scheduled for February 14, 2024.
“Sections 29 and 84 of the 2022 Electoral Act state 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 APC 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 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 May 12,’’ Tukuwei said.
He added: ’’Thus, the case was filed outside the constitutional prescribed 14 days, thereby making the case statute barred.
“It is surprising to the party and Bayelsa people that the court ignored the fact that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to sue and went ahead to give judgement in their favour.”
He said the suit was contrary to a directive by the Supreme Court that all pre-election matters be heard in the state where party primaries were held.
“To perfect their sinister act, the case was filed in Abuja. Is Abuja Bayelsa?
The Bayelsa APC is keenly aware of Governor Douye Diri’s covert tactics, which have become his customary approach. This recognition arises from his realization that our gubernatorial candidate is already on a path to victory, thanks to unparalleled support from all corners of the state.
To the resilient people of Bayelsa, we urge you not to be discouraged by the PDP’s secretive maneuvers. This clandestine strategy should not deter your determination to elect Sylva as the next Governor of Bayelsa. We remain steadfast in our belief that we will emerge victorious.