Bayelsa APC elders fault judgment disqualifying Sylva


By Aluta News

Oct. 11, 2023

The Elders Forum, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa has faulted the judgment of the Federal High Court disqualifying the party’s governorship candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, ahead of the Nov. 11 election.

In a statement issued on Wednesday in Yenagoa, the elders posited that Justice Donatus Okorowo erred in law in his pronouncement that Sylva had taken the oaths of office as a governor twice and was no longer qualified to vie for the governorship ticket of his party.

In the statement signed by Chief Michael Adomokeme, Chairman of the forum, he contended that Sylva had only taken one oath of office known to law, as the first one referred to by the judge had been nullified by a court of competent jurisdiction.

“In 2007, Sylva’s first term election was annulled by the court, which also nullified the oath he took when he was sworn-in as the governor.

“The annulment of the first poll and nullification of that oath by the court had rendered both the election and the oath of office non-existent.

“The first oath never existed because in the eyes of the law you cannot build something on nothing.

“Only the oath taken in 2008 is recognised by the law and stands as the only oath so far taken by our candidate,’’ he said

Adomekeme noted that judges remained imperfect humans, capable of making mistakes in their pronouncements adding that such recognition is the reason why the hierarchy of courts existed in the judicial system.

He expressed the optimism that the appellate court would do justice to this matter.

“We commend the legal team of our party which swiftly appealed the judgment and applied for a stay of execution of the verdict, which we know is a miscarriage of justice.

“We believe that the court would not allow the 2019 scenario to repeat itself where, against the will of the people, an unpopular candidate was foisted on our people.

“Sylva is qualified to contest this election in the spirit and letters of the law because when a court invalidates a situation it remains invalidated, viewed as dead and will no longer have any effect or application in the future.

“The people of Bayelsa must be allowed to vote for their preferred candidates without mischievously narrowing their chances,’’ he said.

While describing the development as a temporary setback, Adomekeme advised the Peoples’ Democratic Party and its candidate, Gov. Douye Diri to stop “their wishful thinking of relying on the courts to remain in power and prepare for the election’’.

“We know they are fretting and that is why they are mischievously shopping for help in courts.

“This one has failed because it will not stand. Governor Douye Diri must go and face his defeat at the poll because the peoples will must stand,’’ he said.

The chairman urged the APC members, residents of Bayelsa and other stakeholders not to be discouraged by the judgment stressing that it would be upturned by the court of appeal.



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