Home Politics Bayelsa Governorship: APC to challenge disqualification of Timipre Sylva

Bayelsa Governorship: APC to challenge disqualification of Timipre Sylva

BAYELSA- The All Progressives Congress (APC) says it plans to challenge Monday’s disqualification of its Bayelsa governorship candidate, Timipre Sylva, from the November 11 poll.


Perry Tukuwei, APC spokesman for the Bayelsa Gubernatorial Campaign Council, said this in a statement on Tuesday.

“The party has briefed its lawyers to appeal the judgement, and it is confident that the Court of Appeal will overturn the judgment of the Federal High Court.

“This reassurance is in reaction to a judgement that has the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate written all over it by a Federal High Court in Abuja in an already failed bid to dash the hopes of Bayelsa people to have their preferred candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, as the next helmsman at Creek Haven by February 14, 2024,” said the statement.

The party added, “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 an election matter within 14 days of the occurrence of the event, but this case was filed on June 13, 2023, whereas INEC published the names of the governorship candidates for Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi on May 12.”

It claimed the case was filed outside the constitutionally prescribed 14 days, making it statute-barred, stressing that 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 judgment in their favour.”

The APC further stated that the suit was contrary to a directive by the Supreme Court that all pre-election matters be heard in Bayelsa, where party primaries were held.

“To perfect their sinister act, the case was filed in Abuja. Is Abuja Bayelsa? Subsequently, the Bayelsa APC can smell the coffee and sinister move by Gov. Douye Diri to go through the back door, which is his usual practice, having realised that our governorship candidate is coasting home to victory already following unrivalled acceptance across the state,” said the APC statement.

It urged its supporters and party members to “fear not!” 

“This clandestine strategy by the PDP should not deter the resolve to elect Sylva as the next governor of Bayelsa; we will win,” said the statement.

In a judgment delivered on Monday, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court disqualified Mr Sylva from running for the governorship.

Mr Okorowo ruled that Mr 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. (NAN)