A Federal High Court in Abuja has ruled that Timipre Sylva, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Bayelsa State Governorship Election, is disqualified from the contest. The decision came after a suit filed by Demesuoyefa Kolomo, a member of the APC in the state, questioned Sylva’s eligibility to participate in the election. Kolomo argued that Sylva had previously served as the governor of Bayelsa from May 29, 2007 to April 15, 2008, and from May 27, 2008 to January 27, 2012, which exceeded the constitutional term limits.
In the judgment delivered on Monday night, Justice Donatus Okorowo stated that allowing Sylva to run for governor again would be a violation of the provisions in the 1999 constitution. The court emphasized that Sylva had already been sworn in twice and governed the state for a total of five years, thus exceeding the constitutional term limit. Justice Okorowo also referred to the Supreme Court case of Marwa vs Nyako, where it was established that no individual should be elected as governor more than twice.
The judge highlighted that both parties in the suit agreed that Sylva had been voted into office twice. He further emphasized that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Marwa vs Nyako case prevented any expansion of the constitution or its scope. Allowing Sylva to contest the upcoming election would set a precedent that individuals can run for office as many times as they wish, which goes against the constitutional term limits.