Bayelsa guber: Court of Appeal rules in Sylva’s appeal to contest Nov 11 poll

The Court of Appeal, sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, reversed the nullification of the candidacy of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva in the forthcoming November 11, 2023 governorship election in Bayelsa.

The appellate court in a judgment, held that Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja was wrong in ordering the sack of Sylva as a candidate of the APC in the November 11, governorship election in Bayelsa.

According to the judgment, the trial court was in error to have assumed jurisdiction in the matter on grounds that the plaintiff at the Federal High Court lacked the necessary locus standi (legal right) to initiate the suit in the first place, having not participated in the primary election that produced Sylva as flag bearer of the APC in the forthcoming election.

The Appeal Court stressed that the issue of jurisdiction is fundamental in an election matter, and since the lower court had no jurisdiction in the first place, all actions taken in the matter are declared a nullity.

The appellate court in addition stated that once a judgment is found to have been delivered without jurisdiction, “no matter how sound it may be, it is an exercise in futility”.

The court subsequently voided the decision of Justice Donatus Okorowo, which nullified Sylva’s participation in the November 11, governorship election.

By this judgment, INEC would have to relist Sylva as candidate of the APC for the governorship election in Bayelsa.

Justice Binta Zubairu, who delivered the lead judgment subsequently slammed a cost of N1 million in favour of Sylva