Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled on a suit seeking the disqualification of former Petroleum Resources Minister, Timipire Sylva, from participating in the upcoming November governorship election in Bayelsa State. The suit, which targeted the All Progressive Congress (APC), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Sylva himself, was dismissed on the grounds of lacking merit.
In his judgment delivered on Tuesday, Justice Ekwo concluded that the plaintiff, Hon Isikima Ogbomade Johnson, failed to substantiate the claims made in the suit, which would have warranted Sylva’s disqualification from the gubernatorial poll.
Among the key points, the judge determined that the plaintiff had not proven the allegation that the APC had conducted an unlawful primary election that led to Sylva’s nomination. Justice Ekwo cited independent reports from INEC, which affirmed the validity of the primary election conducted by the APC and monitored in accordance with the law.
Furthermore, the judge rejected police reports submitted by the plaintiff, which asserted that the APC had not conducted a proper primary election. He dismissed these reports as illegitimate, emphasizing that the police had no legal mandate to engage in such activities on behalf of the plaintiff.
Justice Ekwo also criticized the plaintiff’s documents for not adhering to established procedures and for failing to meet the 14-day time frame for filing such a case. Consequently, he declared the case as lacking in merit and dismissed it.
The plaintiff’s case was based on two primary arguments: Sylva’s prior election to the governorship office and the alleged illegality of the April 14 primary election that nominated Sylva. Despite these claims, the court’s decision upheld Sylva’s eligibility to participate in the Bayelsa gubernatorial election.
This judgment marks a significant legal victory for Timipire Sylva and clears the path for his candidacy in the upcoming election, which holds considerable political importance in Bayelsa State.