Appeal Court’s reinstatement of Sylva, big win for democracy, victory for Bayelsa

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By Chimezie Godfrey

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja Tuesday reversed the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for the November 11, 2023 Bayelsa State Gubernatorial Election, Chief Timipre Sylva.

The Bayelsa State Chapter of APC described the judgement as a big win for democracy and a victory for Bayelsa State.

A statement by the Bayelsa State Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr. Doifie Buokoribo, said: “The Appeal Court by its ruling has given the people of Bayelsa State a choice on November 11. A choice between light and darkness.

National growth LS

“A choice between moving to the mountain top and descending to the valley below. A choice between moving forward and backward. Democracy is about choices. And the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in sponsoring this frivolous case has demonstrated its mortal fear of our party, APC, and candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva.

“The PDP is desperate. They do not want us on the ballot. We thank God that this distraction is now over. Justice has been served.”

The Appeal Court, in a unanimous decision by a three-member panel, ruled that:

The First Respondent (Mr. Demesuoyefa Kolomo) is not an aspirant in the elections and therefore lacks the locus standi to file the case; that the upper court cannot exercise jurisdiction where the lower court lacks it; and that the appeal is meritorious and allowed.

A cost of NGN1 million was awarded to the Appellant.

The appeal followed the October 9, 2023 judgement of the Federal High Court, Abuja, presided by Justice Donatus Okorowo which nullified the candidature of Sylva in the November 11 governorship election on the excuse that he had taken the oath of office twice as Governor of Bayelsa State. Subsequently, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) de-listed Sylva’s name from the list of candidates.

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