The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has taken a significant step in compliance with a court order by removing the names of Mr. Timipre Sylva, the Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), and his deputy, Mr. Joshua Maciver, from the list of qualified candidates for the upcoming Governorship election in Bayelsa State scheduled for November 11th.
The decision, which was announced by INEC’s Secretary, Mrs. Rose Oriarian-Anthony, follows a recent judgment by a Federal High Court in Abuja disqualifying the APC candidate from the November election in Bayelsa State.
the judgment, Justice Donatus Okorowo ruled that Mr. Sylva’s candidacy would breach the 1999 constitution as amended since he had previously been sworn in twice and ruled for five years as the Bayelsa State governor.
According to the judge, allowing Sylva to contest again would result in him spending more than eight years in office as the governor of the state.
INEC, in a statement, clarified the timeline of events leading to this decision. The Commission had initially published the list of candidates for the Bayelsa State Governorship election on June 9th, in accordance with the provisions of Section 32 of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
However, subsequent to this publication, INEC received a court order pertaining to the nomination of the APC’s candidate for the 2023 governorship election in Bayelsa State.
Emphasizing its commitment to upholding the rule of law, INEC pointed out that, by the provision of Section 287 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, the Commission is obligated to enforce the court’s orders.
This development has added another layer of complexity to the political landscape in Bayelsa State, where the race for the governorship seat is heating up. The removal of Mr. Timipre Sylva from the list of qualified candidates raises questions about the APC’s strategy for the upcoming election, and how this decision will influence the dynamics of the campaign in the state.