The All Progressives Congress Bayelsa State chapter has rejected the disqualification of its candidate, Timipre Sylva from the November 11 governorship election.
The party described the disqualification as unjust, unfair and undemocratic.
Recall that the Federal High Court in Abuja disqualified Sylva on Monday on the grounds that he had already served two terms as governor of the state.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Director of Media and Publicity of the APC Bayelsa Gubernatorial Campaign Council, Mr Perry Tukuwei, said the party was confident that the Court of Appeal would overturn the judgment.
Tukuwei said the suit that led to Sylva’s disqualification was filed by a non-member of the APC who didn’t contest the party’s governorship primaries, according to Independent.
He also said the suit was filed outside the 14-day constitutional window for filing pre-election matters.
Tukuwei further said the suit was filed in Abuja in contravention of a Supreme Court directive that all pre-election matters be heard in the state where party primaries were held.
He said the APC believed that the judgment was a ploy by the Peoples Democratic Party and Governor Douye Diri to prevent Sylva from contesting the election.
He said, “The party has briefed its lawyers to appeal the judgment, and it is confident that the Court of Appeal will overturn the judgment of the Federal High Court.
“This reassurance is in reaction to a judgment which has the PDP and its candidate written all over it by a Federal High Court in Abuja in an already failed bid to dash the hopes of Bayelsa people, to have their preferred candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva, as the next helmsman at Creek Haven by Feb. 14, 2024.
“Sections 29 and 84 of the 2022 Electoral Act state that only persons who contested primaries of a political party that have the locus standi to file a pre-election matter to challenge the qualification of the party’s candidate in any election.
Hence the suit filed by one Chief Demesuoyefa Kolomo who is not a member of the APC and didn’t contest our party’s governorship primaries doesn’t have the locus standi to sue in the matter. “Section 285 of the 1999 Nigerian constitution enjoins any aggrieved party to file election matter within 14 days of the occurrence of the event, but this case was filed on the 13th of June 2023 whereas INEC published the names of the governorship candidates for Bayelsa, Imo and Kogi on May 12,’’ Tukuwei said.
He added: ’’Thus, the case was filed outside the constitutional prescribed 14 days, thereby making the case statute barred. “It is surprising to the party and Bayelsa people that the court ignored the fact that the plaintiff lacked the locus standi to sue and went ahead to give judgment in their favour. To perfect their sinister act, the case was filed in Abuja. Is Abuja Bayelsa?
“Subsequently, the Bayelsa APC can smell the coffee and sinister move by Gov. Douye Diri to go through the back door, which is his usual practice having realised that our governorship candidate is coasting home to victory already following unrivalled acceptance across the state.
“Our dear people of Bayelsa, fear not! This clandestine strategy by the PDP should not deter the resolve to elect Sylva as the next Governor of Bayelsa, we will win,” he stated.