Ahead of the November 11, 2023 governorship election in Bayelsa State, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has added the name of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timipre Sylva, to the final list of candidates for the poll.
INEC, in the new list published on its website, said the addition of Sylva’s name was in compliance with an Appeal Court judgement delivered on October 31, 2023 which reversed the sacking of Sylva’s candidacy for the poll.
In the new list sighted by our correspondent yesterday, Sylva’s name was penciled as APC governorship candidate whilst that of Maciver Joshua was written as his running mate, reports Channels TV.
With the amended list, INEC said, “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/ABJ/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 31st October, 2023 in Appeal No – CA/ABJ/CV/1060/2023 set aside the judgement of the lower court cited above.
“By virtue of the provisions 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 list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election is hereby amended in the Amendment No 2 pursuant to the judgement of the Court of Appeal.”
Sylva, a former Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and an ex-governor of Bayelsa, is running alongside 15 other contenders including the incumbent governor, Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
On October 10, a Federal High Court in Abuja disqualified Sylva from participating in the state governorship election.
Justice Okorowo ruled that Sylva, having been sworn in twice and served five years as governor of the state, would breach the 1999 constitution as amended if allowed to contest again.
The judge also declared that Sylva was not qualified to run in the November poll because if he wins and is sworn in, he would spend more than eight years in office as governor of the state.
However, the ex-minister appealed the decision of the lower court and the appellate court ruled in his favour last Tuesday.
Sylva was first Bayelsa governor from May 2007 to April 2008 and later between May 2008 and January 2012.