The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has added the name of Timipre Sylva to the list of candidates contesting the Bayelsa governorship election.
Recall that the electoral umpire had on June 9, published the final list of candidates contesting the off-cycle poll in Bayelsa, including Sylva, a former Governor of the state.
But the federal high court in Abuja on October 10 disqualified Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa from participating in the election.
The court held that Sylva, having been sworn in twice and ruled for five years as State Governor, would breach the 1999 constitution if allowed to contest again.
Obeying the court’s verdict, INEC removed Sylva’s name from the list of candidates contesting the Bayelsa governorship election.
But on October 31, a court of appeal in Abuja reversed the disqualification of the APC candidate.
The three-member panel of the appeal court in a unanimous judgement held that the trial court which nullified Sylva’s candidature lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit filed by Demesuoyefa Kolomo, a member of the APC, who was not an aspirant in the primaries that produced Sylva as the Party’s candidate.
To this end, in an amended list of candidates posted on the commission’s website on Monday, Sylvia’s name and that of Maciver Joshua, his deputy were added as candidates.
An accompanying statement however stated that the amendment was done in compliance with the appellate court’s judgement.
“It may be recalled that the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election was amended on 16th October, 2023 pursuant to the Order of the Federal High Court in Suit No- FHC/AB]/ CS/821/2023 in respect of the nomination of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election.
“The Court of Appeal in a judgement delivered on 31 October 2023 in Appeal No - CA/ABI/CV/1060/2023 set aside the judgement of the lower court cited above.
“By virtue of the provision of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the Commission is bound to enforce the Orders of Court on nomination of candidates by political parties in the State,” the statement read.