The court of appeal in Abuja has reversed the disqualification of Timipre Sylva, ex-minister of petroleum, as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa state.
On October 9, the federal high court in Abuja had disqualified Sylva from contesting the November 11 election in Bayelsa state.
Delivering judgment, Donatus Okorowo, presiding judge, held that Sylva, having been sworn in twice and ruled for five years as governor of the state, would breach the 1999 constitution if allowed to contest again.
The judge held that Sylva was not qualified to run in the forthcoming poll because if he wins and is sworn in, he would spend more than eight years in office as governor of the state.
APPEALING THE VERDICT
On October 10, Sylva appealed the judgment of the court.
In a notice of appeal, Sylva faulted the verdict and urged the appellate court to set it aside and uphold his nomination.
Demesuoyefa Kolomo, a member of the APC, had sued Sylva and asked the court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delete his name from the list of candidates contesting the governorship election.
The plaintiff averred that by the provisions of section 182(1)(b) of the 1999 constitution (as amended), Sylva is not qualified to contest the election on the platform of APC or any other political party because he was elected in April 2007 and May 2008.
According to NAN, the three-member panel of the appeal court in a unanimous judgment on Tuesday, held that the trial court which nullified Sylva’s candidature lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit filed by Kolomo, who was not an aspirant in the primaries that produced Sylva as the APC governorship candidate.
The court also awarded the sum of N1 million to be paid to Sylva in the appeal marked: CA/ABJ/CV/1060/2023 between APC and Kolomo.