The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal has finally cleared the coast for former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva to participate in the governorship election, less than 24 hours to the conduct of the polls in Bayelsa State.
The Appellate Court dismissed the suit seeking exclusion of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship candidate in the poll.
While delivering judgment in an appeal instituted by one Isikima Johnson, against Sylva and two others, 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 that the allegations of taking of oath of governorship office twice being held against Sylva cannot stand in the face of law because the first one had been invalidated by competent Courts.
Justice Zubar also dismissed the allegations against APC that its April 14, 2023 primary election which produced Sylva as flagbearer was done in contravention of provisions of the law.
Sylva had in his arguments presented evidence that showed that a five-man Electoral Committee on April 14 conducted the election in 106 Wards of the 8 Local Government Areas of Bayelsa and with 52062 votes, he came first, while the appellant came fourth with 584 votes.
The Court however held that with the 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.
Justice Zubar further held that the case of the appellant was statute barred having been instituted outside the 14 days allowed by law as a pre-election matter.
The Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo which on September 26 dismissed the suit for want of merit and substance.
(Editor: Ebuwa Omo-Osagie)