In a surprising turn of events, Timipre Sylva, along with his running mate, Joshua Maciver, representing the All Progressives Congress (APC), has been conspicuously omitted from the final list of candidates released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the forthcoming November 11 governorship elections in Kogi, Bayelsa, and Imo.
This amended list, now available on the commission’s official website, was signed by INEC’s Secretary, Rose Oriaran-Anthony. Notably, the column for the APC candidate and his running mate was left vacant, bearing the label “court order.”
The omission of Sylva and Maciver is a result of court orders served on INEC. As per Oriaran-Anthony, this action was in adherence to these court orders, emphasizing the commission’s obligation to respect such legal directives.
She recalled that INEC initially published the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election on June 9, adhering to the provisions of Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022, and the established Timetable and Schedule of Activities for the Election.
However, following the initial publication, INEC received a court order regarding the APC’s Bayelsa governorship candidate’s nomination. By law, the commission was bound to enforce court orders concerning the nomination of candidates by political parties in the state. Consequently, the candidate list for the 2023 Bayelsa State governorship election has been amended in response to these court orders.
The situation in Imo State follows a similar pattern. INEC had previously released the final list of candidates for the state’s governorship election in line with legal requirements. Subsequently, the commission was served with an Order of Court demanding the inclusion of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and its candidate in the list.
Again, INEC was compelled to comply with the court’s directive, amending the candidate list for the 2023 Imo State Governorship election accordingly.
These developments are primarily the result of a Federal High Court decision in Abuja on October 10, which disqualified Sylva from participating in the Bayelsa governorship election.
The court’s ruling rested on the constitutional argument that Sylva, having served as governor for five years and been sworn in twice, would breach the constitution if allowed to contest once more.
The judgment aimed to prevent a governor from serving more than eight years.
These recent events have evoked mixed reactions. Some view the APC’s misfortunes in Bayelsa as a curse due to their victory in the 2019 elections but subsequent losses in court on technicalities. Meanwhile, others are surprised by the ruling party’s inability to influence INEC or the courts in this matter.
While in 2023 they have picked a candidate that was disqualified before the election
Others say they are surprised the ruling party did not influence INEC or the courts in this case
While others said the judiciary has been proven to be impartial but some people just want the judgment of the court to favor their preferred candidate at all times.