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Court dismisses suit seeking Timipire Sylva’s disqualification



Timipre Slyva

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking the disqualification of former Petroleum Resources Minister, Timipire Sylva, from contesting the November governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Justice Inyang Ekwo on Tuesday dismissed the suit for lacking in merit.

The plaintiff, Hon Isikima Johnson, had in an originating summons dragged APC, INEC, and Sylvia before the Court praying for an order to disqualify Sylva from being allowed to participate in the November governorship election in Bayelsa State.

He predicated his grouse against Sylvia on two grounds that Sylva had been elected into governorship office twice, and took the oath of office and oath of allegiance twice while he also claimed that the April 14 primary election that produced Sylva was illegal and unlawful having been allegedly done in contravention with APC’s guidelines.

However, Ekwo said the plaintiff failed to establish issues raised in the suit to warrant the disqualification of Sylva from the governorship poll.

Among others, the Judge held that the plaintiff failed to establish the allegation that the APC did not conduct a lawful primary election that produced Sylva.

Justice Ekwo said from the uncontroverted independent report of INEC, it was clear beyond any doubt that a valid primary election was conducted by APC and monitored by the electoral umpire as required by law.

The Judge also dismissed the police reports tendered by the plaintiff which claimed that no primary election was conducted by APC.

Justice Ekwo said that the purported police reports were worthless and products of illegality because police were not mandated by any provisions of law to do what they did in favour of the plaintiff.

The Judge, among others, faulted the police reports for not being on police letterhead papers to give it semblance of originality while he also said that the duty of police at primary elections is to give protection and safety to election materials and voters.

Besides, Justice Ekwo held that most of the documents brought by the plaintiff were done through the back doors in disregard to the well-known established procedures.

Also, the court rejected the suit because it was not instituted within 14 days of the subject matter occurring, hence, it became an academic matter adding that since the court is not an academic institution, it would not dabble into such a matter.

Ekwo said, “In all, I find the case of the plaintiff to be weak having not been established by preponderance of evidence as required by law.

“In the same vein, the case of the plaintiff, having been demolished by overwhelming exhibits tendered by APC and Timipire Sylva, has no legs to stand upon in the face of the law.

“I make an order, dismissing this case and it is hereby dismissed for lacking in merit.”