Sylva missing as INEC releases amended list of candidates for Bayelsa governorship poll

Two-time governor of Bayelsa State and former Minister of State for Petroleum Reaources, Timipre Sylva was conspicuously missing from the amended list of candidates released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the November 11 governorship election in the state.

Going by the amended list uploaded on the commission’s website on Tuesday, Sylva and his ruining mate, Joshua Maciver are not eligible as candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Bayelsa election

Sylva was disqualified as the governorship candidate of the APC in Bayelsa by Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on October 10, on the grounds that he had been sworn in as governor twice and ruled for five years which 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 11 poll because if he won and was sworn in, he would spend more than eight years in office as governor of the state.

He has however approached the Court of Appeal to upturn the judgment, but his case has not been heard by the appellate court

In the fresh INEC list which was signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, the column for the names of APC candidate and his ruining mate was left blank with ‘court order’ as remarks on it

Explaining the reason for the ommission of Sylva’s name and that of his running mate, Oriaran-Anthony, said the action of the commission was in obedience to court order on the lists served on the commission.

She said the commission had earlier published the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election on June 9 in accordance with the provision of Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Election, only for it to be served with an order of court in respect of the nomination of candidate of the APC for Bayelsa governorship election.

“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 the court on the nomination of candidates by political parties in the state.

“The Amended list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Bayelsa State governorship election is hereby amended pursuant to the orders of court served on the commission,” the INEC secretary said

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