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Court Disqualifies Bayelsa APC Governorship Candidate, Timipre Sylva For

Justice 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.

Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a judgement delivered on Monday, disqualified the Bayelsa State All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the November 11 governorship election, Timipre Sylva.

Justice 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.

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 could expand the constitution or its scope.

He noted that if Sylva was allowed to contest the next election, it meant a person could contest as many times as he wished.

Meanwhile in its reaction, the APC Campaign Council, through the Director Media and Publicity, Perry Tukuwei, dismissed the person challenging Mr Timipre Sylva’s eligibility as lacking the locus standi.

According to Mr Tukuwei, Sections 29 and 84 of the 2022 Electoral Act stated that only persons who contested primaries of a political party have 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 All Progressives Congress and didn’t contest our party’s governorship primaries do not have the locus standi to sue in the matter.

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

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