Court of Appeal in Abuja has struck out the motions by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Timipre Sylva seeking to 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 William Daudu in a unanimous judgment of a three-member panel of justices, struck out the motions for lacking in merit.
The high court had 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, the court held 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.
It 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.
Based on the court ruling, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) excluded Sylva’s name and that of his running mate, Joshua Maciver, from the list of contestants of the November 11 exercise.
The list signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, had the column for the names of APC candidate and his ruining mate left blank with remarks, “Court order”
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.
David Lyon, governorship candidate of the APC in 2019, was declared winner of 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, Lyon had sought to clinch the APC ticket but he was displaced by Sylva.