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INEC removes APC Timipre Sylva’s name from amended guber candidates’ list

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has released amended lists of candidates for Bayelsa and Imo governorship elections.

According to the amended list uploaded on INEC’s website on Tuesday, the name of Timipre Sylva and his ruining mate, Joshua Maciver of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were not included in the Bayelsa election.

INEC’s secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, signed the list.

The column for the names of the APC candidate and his ruining mate was left blank with “court order” remarks.

Also, for Imo, INEC included the names of Uchechukwu Ishiodu as the governorship candidate and Ahumbe Chiazor as the running mate for the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) for the state election.

Ms Oriaran-Anthony, in the amended document, explained that the action of INEC was in obedience to court orders. She recalled that INEC published the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa governorship election on June 9 per section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Election.

She said after the publication, INEC was served an order of court regarding the nomination of a candidate of the APC for the Bayelsa governorship election.

“By virtue of the provision of section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the commission is bound to enforce the orders of court on nomination of candidates by political parties in the state.

“The Amended list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Bayelsa State governorship election is hereby amended pursuant to the orders of court served on the commission,” said Ms Oriaran-Anthony.

For Imo, Ms Oriaran-Anthony recalled that INEC published the final list of candidates for the state governorship election on June 9 per the provision of section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Election.

“After the said publication, the commission was served with an Order of Court for the inclusion of the PRP and its candidate on the list of candidates for the 2023 Imo state governorship election,” the INEC official stated. 

She added, “By virtue of the provision of section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the commission is bound to enforce the orders of court on nomination of candidates by political parties in the state.”

Ms Oriaran-Anthony explained that “the amended list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Imo state governorship election is hereby amended pursuant to the orders of court served on the commission.”

The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on October 10, disqualified Mr Sylva from participating in the Bayelsa governorship poll.

Justice Donatus Okorowo, in the judgment, 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.

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

In Imo, at the Owerri Division of the Federal High Court in suit number FHC/OW/CS/35/2023 – PRP & Anor v. INEC, amongst others, ordered INEC to include the name of the PRP governorship candidate in the list of nominated candidates already published on INEC website.

(NAN)

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