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INEC removes Timipre Sylva from Bayelsa guber candidates list

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INEC: Court disqualifies Timipre Sylva from Bayelsa gubernatorial election

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has announced revised candidate lists for the governorship elections in Bayelsa and Imo States.

The names of Timipre Sylva and his running mate, Joshua Maciver of the All Progressives Congress, were not included in the Bayelsa State election, according to the corrected list posted on the commission’s website on Tuesday.

Rose Oriaran-Anthony, the commission’s secretary, signed the list.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the column for the names of the APC candidate and his ruining mate has been left blank, with “court order” notes on it.

In Imo State, the commission named Uchechukwu Ishiodu as the Peoples Redemption Party’s governorship candidate and Ahumbe Chiazor as his running mate for the state election.

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In the updated document, Oriaran-Anthony indicated that the commission’s conduct was in response to court orders on the lists served on the commission.

She recalled that, in compliance with Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022, the commission issued the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election on June 9, as well as the timetable and programme of operations for the election.

She stated that following the publication, the INEC was served with a court order regarding the nomination of the APC candidate for the governorship election in Bayelsa State.

“By virtue of the provision of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the commission is bound to enforce the orders of the court on the nomination of candidates by political parties in the state.

“The amended list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Bayelsa State governorship election is hereby amended pursuant to the orders of court served on the commission,” Oriaran-Anthony said.

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In addition, for Imo State, Oriaran-Anthony recalled that INEC issued the final list of candidates for the state governorship election on June 9 in compliance with Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022, as well as the timetable and schedule of activities for the election.

“After the said publication, the Commission was served with an Order of Court for the inclusion of the PRP and its candidate on the list of candidates for the 2023 Imo State governorship election.

“By virtue of the provision of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the commission is bound to enforce the orders of the court on the nomination of candidates by political parties in the state.

“The amended list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Imo State Governorship election is hereby amended pursuant to the orders of court served on the Commission,” Oriaran-Anthony said.

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On October 10, the Federal High Court in Abuja barred Sylva from running in the state governorship election.

In the judgement, Justice Donatus Okorowo declared that Sylva, who had been sworn in twice and reigned for five years as the governor of Bayelsa State, would violate the 1999 constitution as amended if allowed to run again.

The judge also ruled that Sylva was ineligible to run in the November election because if he won and was sworn in, he would serve as governor of the state for more than eight years.

In Suit No. FHC/OW/CS/35/2023, PRP & Anor v. INEC, amongst others, the Federal High Court, Owerri judicial division, similarly directed INEC to add the name of the PRP governorship candidate to the list of nominated candidates already published on the INEC website.

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