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Bayelsa PDP Aligns With Truth Movement, Says Sylva Can’t Run


BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Bayelsa State at the weekend revisited the eligibility status of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the December 5 governorship election, Timipre Sylva, in reaction to an advertorial published by a concerned body, the Truth Movement of Nigeria.

In a statement by the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Godspower Keku, the party contended that the inherent issues contained in the advertorial were subsisting and had cogent foundation to render Sylva’s candidature null and void.

Truth Movement of Nigeria had in the said advertorial signed by its Publicity Secretary, Fred Amakom, posited that thoughTimipre Sylva has been nominated as candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the election but that he was ineligible on account of having been elected twice as governor in 2007 and 2008.

Citing constitutional and legal precedent to back its argument, the body noted that Sylva having been elected twice was no longer eligible to contest as doing so would be at variance with provisions of Section 182 (1) (b) of the 1999 Constitution as amended which states that “No person shall be qualified for election to the office of governor if “he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections”

To do otherwise, it claimed, would amount to a breach of the constitution as Sylva would be serving more than the stipulated maximum of eight years in office.

It clarified any supposed ambiguity in the interpretation of this section of the constitution in relation to the state governors’ suit in the matter in 2007 in which Sylva was one of the respondents and that based on the Supreme Court judgement on the case, it was well established that all the governors including Sylva were deemed to have contested the re-run election and as such he had been elected twice and no longer eligible to re-contest the third time.

“Chief Timipre Sylva has previously been elected twice as governor of Bayelsa State namely in 2007 and 2008. The 2007 election was nullified by the Court of Appeal and Chief TimipreSylva contested and won the re-run election where upon he was elected the second time and served for about a cumulative period of four years and seven months as the governor of Bayelsa State. He now seeks to be elected a third time as the governor of Bayelsa State in the said forthcoming elections.

“But the Supreme Court clearly recognized the earlier nullified election of Governor Timipre Sylva as having led to his first election. Thus his success in this re-run election was obviously his second election and has thus barred him from contesting again having been previously elected twice”, it stated.

On this legal ground, therefore, the PDP scribe said in the statement that allowing Sylva to contest in the next election would be an assault on the constitution of the Federal republic and a clear impunity which he noted could create constitutional crisis.

Keku called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mahmood Yakubu to wade in urgently in order to ensure the sanctity of the constitution is protected and justice was done in the interest of the nation.

“Democracy is founded on the rule of law and anything outside it is tantamount to impunity. This is why we believe resolutely that based on the Supreme Court judgement, Timipre Sylva is not eligible to run in this election and our convictions are already being shared by the public as this body’s penetrating insight into the matter vindicates our earlier position”, he stated.


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