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Bayelsa Poll: Appeal Court Reverses Timipre Sylva’s Sack

Justice Zubairu also awarded a cost of N1 million in favour of Sylva.


Sylva
A file photo of Timipre Sylva

 

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has reversed the nullification of the candidacy of Chief Timipre Sylva of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Justice Binta Zubairu, who delivered the lead judgement held that Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, was wrong in ordering the sack of Sylva as a candidate of the APC in the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

According to the court, the trial court was erred in having assumed jurisdiction in the matter on grounds that the plaintiff at the Federal High Court 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.

READ ALSO: Sylva Writes INEC, Seeks Immediate Withdrawal Of Amended Candidates’ List

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

By this judgment, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) would have to relist Sylva as the candidate of the APC for the governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Justice Zubairu also awarded a cost of N1 million in favour of Sylva.