COURT RESTORES SYLVA BACK ON BALLOT
Written by Tunde Adeyemi on November 1, 2023
The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal has restored the candidacy of Timipre Sylva for the November eleven governorship election in Bayelsa state.
Sylva who is the candidate of the All-Progressives Congress, APC,
had his nomination voided by Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, in a suit anchored on the grounds that he had governed Bayelsa state for five years and had sworn to governorship oath twice, and that contesting again will be a breach of the constitution
The court of appeal on Tuesday set aside that judgement.
Justice Binta Zubairu while delivering the lead judgement held that the trial court wrongly assumed jurisdiction in the matter as the plaintiffs lacked the necessary locus standi to initiate the suit in the first place, having not participated in the primary election that produced Sylva as the flag bearer of the APC in the forthcoming election.
The appellate court further held 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.
It added 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 also awarded a cost of N1 million in favour of Sylva.