Bayelsa Guber Poll: Appeal Court Dismisses Another Suit Seeking Sylva’s Disqualification

The Abuja Division of the Appeal Court on Friday again dismissed a suit seeking to disqualify former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, from contesting in the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The judgement was an offshoot of a suit filed by one Hon Isikima Ogbomade Johnson, who had dragged Sylva, the APC and INEC before the Federal High Court, praying for an order to disqualify him from being allowed to participate in the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

She had predicated her case against Sylvia on two grounds, that Sylva had been elected into governorship office twice and took the oath of office and oath of allegiance twice and that the April 14 primary election that produced Sylva was illegal and unlawful, having been allegedly done in contravention with APC’s guidelines.

The suit was dismissed by the high court prompting Johnson to take her case to the appellate court.

While delivering judgment, Justice Binta Zubar, held that the suit was not only unjustifiable but brought in bad faith by the appellant against the respondents.

The court agreed with Sylva’s legal team led by James Ogwu Onoja, (SAN), that the allegations of taking the oath of governorship office twice being held against Sylva cannot stand in the face of law because competent courts had invalidated the first one.

Justices Zubar also dismissed the allegations against the APC that its April 14, 2023, primary election, which produced Sylva as flagbearer, was done in contravention of provisions of the law.

The Appeal Court said with the undisputed evidence coupled with the monitoring report of INEC as a statutory body, the allegations by the appellant that Sylva emerged without a primary election has no foundation

The judge also held that the appellant’s case was statute barred having been instituted outside the 14 days allowed by law as a pre-election matter and
upheld the judgment of a Federal High Court delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, which, on September 26 dismissed the suit for want of merit and substance.