Guber Poll: Bayelsa APC aspirant asks court to stop Sylva

Yenagoa—An All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant for the November 11, 2023, Bayelsa State governorship election, Mrs. Ogbomade Johnson, has challenged the emergence of Chief Timipre Sylva as the candidate of the party.

Johnson made the prayer in a fresh suit filed by her lawyers led by Hyginus Ibega before Justice Inyang Ekwo.

She prayed the court for an order of mandatory injunction compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to delist the names of APC and Sylva from among the list of political parties and candidates for the Nov. 11 poll.

The aggrieved aspirant also prayed for an order of perpetual injunction restraining Sylva, the immediate-past Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, from parading himself as the APC’s governorship candidate in Bayelsa.

She sought a declaration that the APC was duty-bound in contract to commence and conclude the primary election in Bayelsa in accordance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022 and the regulations and guidelines of the political party, having demanded and received the sum of 10 million naira from her, along with other five aspirants.

Johnson also sought a declaration that by the conduct of the APC’s primary poll on April 14 in contravention of the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022, and the regulations and guidelines of the political party, the APC had no candidate to field for the poll, among other reliefs.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the APC had cleared Mrs. Johnson, Sylva, Great Joshua Maciver, Barr. Festus Daumiebi, Prof. Maureen Ongoebi and Chief David Lyon as aspirants in the April 14 primaries.

In the primary election conducted in 102 of the 105 wards of the eight local governments in the state, Sylva was said to have scored 52, 061 votes; Maciver scored 2, 078; Johnson scored 584; Daumiebi scored 557; Ongoebi scored 1, 277 and Lyon scored 1, 584 votes.

But in the originating summons marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/575/2023 dated April 24 but filed April 27, Johnson sued APC, INEC and Sylva as 1st to 3rd respondents respectively.

She sought seven questions for determination.

In the affidavit Johnson deposed to, she said contrary to the party’s regulations and guidelines and in breach of the Electoral Act, 2022, the APC’s direct primary did not hold in all the wards in the state.

“Shockingly on the 14th of April, 2223, the said election committee was not seen anywhere in the voting centres and ward headquarters where accreditation and voting were supposed to commence by 8am to 2pm in Bayelsa State.

“No accreditation of voters took place, no voting and collation of votes occurred in all the wards.

She said after waiting till 5:30pm on the election day, she and her supporters staged a protest at the party’s state headquarters.

She said she was surprised on April 15 while listening to television news to hear that Sylva was declared the winner of the poll by the Jibrin-led committee.

Johnson urged the court to grant her relief.

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