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Bayelsa guber: APC reacts as court sacks Timipre Sylva

 

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

 

Recall 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.

 

Mr Perry Tukuwei, the Director, Media and Publicity APC
Bayelsa Gubernatorial Campaign Council, said this in a statement on Tuesday in
Yenagoa.

 

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

 

“This reassurance is in reaction to a judgement which 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 Feb. 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?

 

“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.

 

“Our dear people of Bayelsa, 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,” he stated.

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