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Bayelsa guber election: APC may not have a candidate

September 23, 2023
Bayelsa governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Timpre Sylva

Ahead of the Bayelsa State governorship election slated for November 11, by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, strong indications have emerged that the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Timpre Sylva and his running-mate, Joshua Maciver, risk disqualification.

This was disclosed on the heels of a suit filed against the defendants, Sylva, Maciver, and INEC, by the plaintiff, Incorporated Trustees of the Trustfield Empowerment Initiative at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

The plaintiff in the suit raised issues about Maciver’s jail term still running over a criminal offence, hence the party’s governorship candidate, Sylva does not have a valid running-mate for the election.

The plaintiff also queried INEC to allow Maciver to become a running-mate to Sylva knowing quite alright that Maciver is serving a criminal jail term.

The court summon leaked through an insider working at the court, indicates:

  1. Whether having regard to the provisions of Sections 175(1), 182(1)(d) and (2)(c) and 187 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and in view of the conviction of the 2nd Defendant for a sentence of imprisonment, the 1st Defendant does not have any valid candidate as his associate for his running for the office of Governor of Bayelsa State in the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election?
  2. Whether having regard to the combined provisions of Sections 175(1), 182(1)(d) & (2)(c) and 187(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended), the recognition and listing of the 2nd Defendant, who is under a sentence of imprisonment, without Presidential Pardon, as the Deputy Governorship candidate of the 1st Defendant in the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election is illegal, unlawful, null and a gross violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended)?
  3. Whether upon the community reading of the provisions of Sections 175(1), 182(1)(d) & (2)(c) and 187(1) and (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended), the 2nd Defendant having been convicted for a criminal offence with a sentence of imprisonment, without Presidential Pardon, is not eligible to be recognised or listed by the 3rd Defendant (INEC) as the associate of the 1st Defendant for his running for the office of Governor of Bayelsa State in the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election?
  4. Whether in view of the conviction of the 2nd Defendant for a term of imprisonment, his recognition by the 3rd Defendant (INEC) as the associate and running mate of the 1st Defendant for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election is not at variance with the Constitution of the Federal of Nigeria, null and void ab initio?

WHEREOF the Plaintiff seeks the following Reliefs:

(a) A DECLARATION that in view of the conviction of the 2nd Defendant for a sentence of imprisonment, the 1st Defendant does not have any valid candidate as his associate for his running for the office of Governor of Bayelsa State in the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election.

(b) A DECLARATION that recognition and listing of the 2nd Defendant, who is under a sentence of imprisonment, without Presidential Pardon, as the Deputy Governorship candidate of the 1st Defendant in the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election is illegal, unlawful, null and a gross violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended), null and void ab initio.

(c) A DECLARATION that the 2nd Defendant having been convicted for a criminal offence with a sentence of imprisonment, without Presidential Pardon, is not eligible to be recognised or listed by the 3rd Defendant (INEC) as the associate of the 1st Defendant for his running for the office of Governor of Bayelsa State in the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election.

(d) A DECLARATION that in view of the conviction of the 2nd Defendant for a term of imprisonment, his recognition by the 3rd Defendant (INEC) as the associate and running mate of the 1st Defendant for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election is at variance with the Constitution of the Federal of Nigeria, null and void ab initio.

(e) AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the 3rd Defendant (INEC) by itself, agents, servants, privies or howsoever described from recognising, listing, publishing or in any other manner whatsoever according any recognition to the 2nd Defendant as the associate and running mate of the 1st Defendant for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election.

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