Governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC for Bayelsa State Chief Timipre Sylva. in the November 11 election, has been disqualified by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Monday, October 9, 2023.
Delivering judgement in suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2023 filed on June 13, 2023 by Deme Kolomo, a member of the APC, the trial judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo, held that Chief Sylva having been sworn in twice and ruled for five years as governor of Bayelsa would breach the 1999 constitution as amended if allowed to contest again.
The Court also held that the former Minister of State for Petroleum in the immediate past administration was not qualified to run in the November 11, 2023 governorship election because if he wins and is sworn in, he would spend more than eight years in office as governor of Bayelsa State.
Citing the case of Marwa vs Nyako at the Supreme Court, Justice Okorowo stressed that the drafters of Nigeria’s Constitution did not envisage that a candidate should be voted for as governor more than twice adding that the parties to the suit agreed that Sylva had been voted into office two times.
The Court further held that based on the ruling of the Supreme Court in the case of Marwa vs Nyako, nobody can expand the Constitution or its scope.
Justice Okorowo therefore held that; “So, if Sylva is allowed to contest the next election, it means a person can contest as many times as he wishes”.
The suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2023 that led to the disqualification of Sylva from the November 11, Governorship election in Bayelsa was filed on June 13, 2023 by a chieftain of the APC, Mr. Deme Kolomo