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Court dismisses motion seeking to stop Sylva from Bayelsa governorship poll



Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, dismissed a suit seeking the disqualification of Timipre Sylva from the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The judge delivered the verdict in the suit filed by an All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in the state, Mrs. Ogbomade Johnson.

Johnson had in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/575/2023, asked the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delist APC and Sylva from among the list of political parties and candidates for the election.

She also prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Sylva from parading himself as the APC’s governorship candidate in Bayelsa, among others.

APC, INEC, and Sylva were listed as respondents in the suit.

READ ALSO: Bayelsa LP guber candidate scoffs at Diri, says recruitment of new political appointees won’t stop his defeat

The former minister of state for petroleum resources won the APC governorship primary held in the state on April 14 after he scored 52, 061 votes to defeat five other aspirants in the election.

Others were the APC candidate in the 2019 election, David Lyon, Joshua Maciver, Festus Daumiebi, Mrs. Maureen Ongoebi, and Johnson.

In his ruling, Justice Ekwo held that the plaintiff failed to prove the case as required by law.

He said Johnson failed to prove her case that the APC did not conduct a valid governorship primary election in Bayelsa.

The judge rejected the police report relied on by the plaintiff and held that it was not the duty of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) to monitor the conduct of political parties’ primary elections.

“Therefore, Exhibits A23, A24, A25/26, and A27 of the plaintiff are of no moment. They are products of illegality having not been authorised by the Electoral Act, 2022, and the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

“The conduct of party primaries is not a police case unless and until a criminal act is committed in the process of such party primaries,” he said.

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