Federal High Court Disqualifies APC’s Timipre Sylva from Bayelsa Governorship Race

APC Campaign Spokesman Expresses Confidence in Winning Legal Battle and Urges Supporters to Stay Resolute

In a recent development, the Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled against Chief Timipre Sylva, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the upcoming November 11, 2023, governorship election in Bayelsa State. The disqualification came as a result of a legal challenge filed by APC member Deme Kolomo, questioning Sylva’s eligibility based on his previous two terms and five years as the state’s governor.

Justice Donatus Okorowo, presiding over the case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2023, delivered the judgment on Monday, stating that allowing Sylva to contest again would violate the 1999 constitution as amended.

In response to the court’s decision, Perry Tukuwei, the APC campaign spokesman, addressed concerns raised by supporters and assured them of victory. Tukuwei emphasized key legal arguments in defense of Sylva’s candidacy, asserting that the plaintiff, Chief Demesuoyefa Kolomo, lacked the legal standing to challenge the APC candidate’s qualification.

Tukuwei pointed out Sections 29 and 84 of the 2022 Electoral Act, which state that only individuals who contested the primaries of a political party have the right to challenge the qualification of the party’s candidate. He argued that since Kolomo did not contest the APC’s governorship primaries, he lacked the legal standing, or “locus standi,” to bring the case.

Furthermore, Tukuwei highlighted the timeliness issue, noting that the case was filed on June 13, 2023, outside the constitutional prescribed 14 days for filing election matters. He argued that the case should be considered statute-barred.

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The APC campaign spokesman also criticized the venue of the case, claiming that it should have been heard in the state where the primaries took place, in line with a practice directive by the Supreme Court. Filing the case in Abuja, according to Tukuwei, was an attempt to manipulate the legal process.

Despite the setback, Tukuwei conveyed the party’s confidence in appealing the judgment. He called on Bayelsans not to be discouraged, assuring them that Chief Timipre Sylva’s candidacy remains strong and that the Court of Appeal will likely overturn the Federal High Court’s decision.

As legal battles unfold, the APC remains resolute in its quest to secure victory in the Bayelsa governorship election, urging supporters to stay steadfast in their commitment to Chief Timipre Sylva.

 

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