SYLVA APPEALS AGAINST HIS DISQUALIFICATION IN THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS

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Former Governor of Bayelsa State Timipre Sylva 




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Mr. Timipre Sylva, the chosen candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the impending Bayelsa governorship election slated for November 11, has initiated legal proceedings following a ruling that invalidated his candidacy. 

Sylva lodged an appeal on Tuesday, represented by his legal advisor, Mr. Ahmed Raji, SAN, who requested the court to nullify the judgment.

Moreover, the former Minister of Petroleum submitted a motion for the suspension of the judgment's enforcement, introducing an additional layer of legal action. 

Justice Donatus Okorowo, operating under the Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja, issued a judgment on Monday night, disqualifying Sylva from partaking in the election.

Justice Okorowo declared that Sylva's previous terms as the governor, during which he served two non-consecutive terms totaling five years, would infringe upon the 1999 Constitution (as amended) if he were allowed to contend once more. 

This judgment stemmed from a suit initiated by Mr. Deme Kolomo, an APC member in Bayelsa, who pleaded with the court to instruct the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to erase Sylva's name from the candidate list for the November 11 governorship election.

Kolomo's assertion revolved around the notion that Sylva's previous gubernatorial tenures in Bayelsa (from May 29, 2007, to April 15, 2008, and from May 27, 2008, to January 27, 2012) rendered him ineligible to stand for the election.

Mr. Raji, sharing his insights on the appeal, conveyed that the FHC judgment clashed with long-established legal principles and precedents. 

He expressed his positive outlook concerning the appeal's potential for success at the Court of Appeal in Abuja and underscored that the appeal raised three pivotal issues concerning jurisdiction, locus standi, and the inaccurate assessment of affidavit evidence.

Sylva, through a notice dated October 10, implored the court to "postpone the execution and/or any subsequent execution of the entire judgment" while the appeal is under full consideration. 

He also appealed for an injunction to prevent the respondents from executing the declaratory and executory orders contained in the judgment.

Sylva's appeal centers on three primary points, including the argument that Justice Okorowo inappropriately assumed jurisdiction by delving into the internal matters of the APC, which constitute a non-justiciable cause of action. 

Furthermore, the former governor contended that the court failed to adequately assess his preliminary objection challenging the suit's competency, thereby infringing upon his right to a fair hearing as protected by the 1999 Constitution.

Currently, no specific date has been earmarked for the appeal's hearing.

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