The gubernatorial aspirations of Timipre Sylva, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Bayelsa State, have triumphed over another legal challenge as the Court of Appeal in Abuja cleared the way for his participation in the upcoming Saturday governorship election.
The court dismissed a suit seeking to exclude Sylva from the race, ruling that the allegations against him were unjustifiable and brought in bad faith.
Justice Binta Zubar delivered the judgment, refuting claims that Sylva had taken the oath of governorship office twice, emphasizing that competent courts had invalidated the first oath. The court also rejected allegations that the APC’s April 14, 2023, primary election, which resulted in Sylva being named the flagbearer, contravened legal provisions.
The unanimous decision aligned with arguments presented by James Ogwu Onoja, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who emphasized that all legal steps were duly followed in conducting the primary election. The court highlighted the undisputed evidence and monitoring report by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), stating that the appellant’s claims lacked foundation.
Justice Zubar further noted that the appellant’s case was statute-barred, filed beyond the 14-day limit for pre-election matters. The Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja, delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, which had earlier dismissed the suit for lack of merit.
The suit, initiated by Hon Isikima Ogbomade Johnson, sought to disqualify Sylva from participating in the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State based on alleged violations of the oath of office and irregularities in the primary election.