All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, has cast his ballot.
Vox9ja understands there was a delay in the commencement of the election at Sylva’s polling unit in the Okpoama community, Brass LGA, as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials are said to have arrived late with election materials.
Sylve, a former governor of the state and a former Minister of State for Petroleum, was re-enlisted for the off-cycle election after surviving a lawsuit recently.
Vox9ja reports that the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Friday, cleared the coast for Sylva to participate in the Saturday governorship election in Bayelsa State after dismissing the suit seeking his exclusion from the poll.
Justice Binta Zubar, while delivering judgment in an appeal instituted against Sylva and two others by Hon Isikima Ogbomade Johnson, held that the suit was unjustifiable and brought in bad faith by the appellant against the respondents.
The Court agreed with James Ogwu Onoja, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), that the allegations of taking the oath of governorship office twice being held against Sylva cannot stand in the face of law because competent courts had invalidated the first one.
In the appeal marked CA/ABJ/CV/1052/2023, Justices Zubar also dismissed the allegations against APC that its April 14, 2023, primary election, which produced Sylva as flagbearer, was done in contravention of provisions of the law.
The unanimous judgment agreed with Onoja’s arguments that the overwhelming evidence adduced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and APC pointed to the fact that all legal steps were taken in the conduct of the primary election.
Onoja SAN had, in his brief on behalf of Sylva, narrated how APC adopted direct primary as the mode of electing the governorship candidate and how a 5-man Electoral Committee on April 14 conducted the election in 106 Wards of the eight local government areas of Bayelsa.
The senior lawyer also listed how Sylva, with 52,062 votes, came first, while the appellant came fourth with 584 votes behind Joshua Maciver with 2,078 votes, David Perewomini Lyon with 1,584 votes, Ongoebi Etebu with 1,277 votes while Daumiebi Festus Sunday came last with 557 votes.
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The Appeal Court said with the undisputed evidence coupled with the monitoring report of INEC as a statutory body, the allegations by the appellant that Sylva emerged without a primary election have no foundation.
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