In a judgment handed down by Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, Chief Timipre Sylva, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa, was disqualified.
Justice Okorowo’s ruling was based on the fact that Chief Sylva, having previously served as governor of Bayelsa and been sworn in twice, would violate the 1999 constitution as amended if he were to run again.
The judge also pointed out that Sylva was ineligible to participate in the November election because, if he were to win and be sworn in, he would exceed the constitutional limit of eight years in office as governor of the state. In making this decision, Justice Okorowo referenced the Supreme Court case of Marwa vs Nyako, which emphasized that the constitution prohibits an individual from being elected as governor more than two times. Both parties in the case agreed that Sylva had been elected into office twice.
Furthermore, the judge stressed that the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Marwa vs Nyako underscored that the constitution’s provisions cannot be extended or altered, meaning that allowing Sylva to contest the upcoming election would set a precedent for individuals to run for office as many times as they wish.
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