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Bayelsa 2023: APC Kicks As Court Disqualifies Sylva

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

The DirectoR of Media and Publicity APC Bayelsa Gubernatorial Campaign Council, Perry Tukuwei, 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 “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 a or 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 that 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.

Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a judgement delivered on Monday, disqualified Sylva from featuring in the November 11 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.

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