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Timipre Sylva disqualified from Bayelsa governorship race


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•Timipre Sylva

ABUJA – Chief Timipre Sylva, former minister of state, petroleum resources, has been disqualified from contesting the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State. Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a judgement delivered on Monday, ruled that Sylva could not stand as candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the forthcoming election.

Justice Okorowo ruled that Chief 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.

The judge also declared that Sylva was not qualified to run in the November poll because if he wins and is sworn in, he would spend more than eight years in office as governor of the state.

Citing the case of Marwa vs Nyako at the Supreme Court, Okorowo noted 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.

He further stated that 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.

The suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2023 was filed on June 13, 2023 by Deme Kolomo, a member of the APC.