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Bayelsa: PDP Files Disqualification Suit Against Sylva

A new twist may have crept into the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Seriake Dickson, are making moves to stop the All Progressives Congress (APC ) candidate, Timipre Sylva, from contesting the election by instituting a legal action on the grounds that he had been elected twice and no longer eligible.

To this end, Dickson and the PDP have approached the Federal High Court in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, seeking Sylva’s disqualification.

In the suit No CV/70/15 Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson & ANORVs Chief Timipre Sylva & ORS, the plaintiff are seeking the court to determine whether Sylva, the candidate of the APC for the December 5 governorship election in Bayelsa State is qualified to contest as a candidate in the light of the provisions of Section 182 (1) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

Section 182 (1) (b) states that no person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a state if “he has been elected to such office at any two previous elections”.

Thus the PDP and its candidate, Seriake Dickson are seeking interpretation of this section of the constitution and the court to determine whether Sylva who, having already been elected and served for a cumulative period of about four years and seven months as the governor of the state is qualified to seek for re-election a third time for a fresh term of four years.

To the plaintiff, allowing Sylva to contest in the December 5 governorship election would mean that he would be serving more than the maximum period of eight years allowed by the constitution, hence his ineligibility.

The court is yet to fix a date for the hearing of the matter.

In a statement in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital on Friday, the Acting State Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Serena Dokubo-Spiff, said as a democratic and law abiding entity, the PDP and its leadership took the legal decision to check what it regarded as “recourse to impunity and disregard to law and order”.

According to the party chairman, what was at stake was thenecessity to guard against any abuse of the democratic process and protection of the sanctity of the constitution, noting further that the issue was not about Timipre Sylva per se but the need to operate in accordance with the rule of law.


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