Sylva seeks court’s order to be declared Bayelsa governor
By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Embattled former governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Timipre Sylva, has asked a Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa, to direct Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare him governor of the state by virtue of his election as the valid gubernatorial candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last governorship election in the state.
Governor Seriake Dickson was declared winner of the said election by INEC and subsequently sworn in.
Sylva, through his counsel, Chief Robert Clarke, SAN, is praying the court to direct INEC to declare him winner of the last governorship election conducted in the state or in the alternative, conduct a fresh election with him as PDP’s candidate.
Trial judge, Justice Charles Archibong, has, meantime, granted leave to Sylva to serve the court’s process on INEC out of jurisdiction in Abuja.
Sylva, in the suit, is praying the court to determine, among others, “whether, having regard to the provision of Section 178(2) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and the Supreme Court judgment in the consolidated appeals of Marwa vs Nyako (2012) 5 NWLR, delivered on January 27, 2012, where the court held that the tenure of the plaintiff as the governor of Bayelsa State had expired since May 29, 2011, the gubernatorial election in Balyesa State became due since April 19, 2011.
“Whether, being the incumbent governor of the state as at April 29, 2011, whose name was submitted as a candidate of PDP for the governorship election, he was the only valid candidate of PDP for the state gubernatorial election conducted thereafter.
He also wants the court to consider whether, by virtue of Section 33 of the Electoral Act, 2011 (as amended), a person whose name had been submitted as a candidate for the state governorship election can be jettisoned other than by his death or withdrawal.