Justice William Daudu of the Court of Appeal in Abuja has rejected the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Timipre Sylva appeals seeking stay execution of the judgment nullifying their candidature in the November 11 Bayelsa State governorship election.
Sylva filed the appeal and stay of execution following the judgement of a Federal High Court in Abuja which barred him from contesting as the APC candidate because he has served twice as governor
Justice Daudu, who heads a three-member panel of justices, said the motions were without merits, hence its dismissal.
The lower court had ruled that Sylva was not qualified to run in the November poll having previously been sworn in two times, adding that if he wins and is sworn in, he would spend more than eight years in office as governor of the state.
Justice Daudu cited the case of Marwa vs Nyako at the Supreme Court, and declared that the drafters of the country’s constitution stated that nobody should be voted for as governor more than twice and that the parties to the suit agreed that Sylva was voted into office two times.
The court said the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Marwa vs Nyako that nobody can expand the constitution or its scope. So, if Sylva is allowed to contest the next election, it means a person can contest as many times as he wishes
A member of the APC, Deme Kolomo, filed the suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2023 on June 13, 2023
With the court ruling, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) deleted the names of Sylva and that of his running mate, Joshua Maciver, from the list of contestants of the November 11 exercise.
In their place, the list, signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, had “Court order” in the column for the names of APC candidate and his ruining mate.
The situation has already thrown the supporters of APC into anxiety, with many comparing it to how the party was prevented from governing the state after winning the 2019 governorship election.
A governorship candidate of the APC in 2019, David Lyon, won the election and was preparing to be sworn in when the Supreme Court annulled his victory on the grounds that his running mate submitted forged documents to INEC.
Four years after, Sylva beat Lyon to clinch the APC ticket.