The case filed by an All Progressives Congress governorship aspirant in Bayelsa State, Isikima Johnson, who is challenging the eligibility of the party’s deputy governorship candidate, Joshua Maciver, for the November 11 polls, has been adjourned to September 13, 2023, by the Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa.
After both parties agreed on a date during the court session on Monday, the presiding judge, Justice Olaide Quadiri, deferred the case marked FHC/YNG)/114/2023.
According to Johnson, Maciver was supposedly convicted of murder and terrorism by a court of competent jurisdiction in 2006, and as such, he was not entitled to be Timipre Sylva’s running mate.
She also claims that Maciver lied under oath when he stated that he was not an ex-convict on the Independent National Electoral Commission’s form.
Johnson’s attorney, Leizou Elijah, informed the court that they had submitted an application for conversion of the original summons to pleadings (writ of summons) when the case was called for hearing on Monday.
However, the matter was postponed to September 13 because the legal teams for the plaintiff and defendant were unable to complete the exchange of filed papers.
As a result, Justice Quadiri ordered that all papers be served on each party prior to the date set aside “for the hearing of all pending applications and the substantive suit.”
At the conclusion of the proceedings, reporters contacted Johnson’s attorney, Leizou Elijah, but he declined to comment on the subject.
However, Sylva and Maciver’s lead attorney, Dr. Ogwu Onoja, SAN, who was Benjamin Ogbara’s client, claimed they had already submitted a counter affidavit and preliminary objection that had been served on the plaintiff.
He asserted that he was certain the court would not consider the case since it was time-barred.
He said, “We have filed our counter affidavit and preliminary objection, and we have served on them. But today we came to court and we are told they have filed another process called a motion to convert the originating process which they filed on May 25th to pleadings (writ of summons), and we have not been served that process.
“As far as I’m concerned, the process is in court. I know that the court cannot entertain this matter. That is basically what I know about it because the matter is statute barred.”
Recall that on April 25, the APC submitted Sylva and Maciver’s names to the INEC as its duly nominated governorship and deputy candidates for the Bayelsa elections, and the commission subsequently published their candidatures in accordance.
At the APC primary election held on April 14 and 15 in the state, Sylva received 52, 061 votes to win the nomination as the party’s standard bearer, and Maciver finished in second place with 2, 078 votes. Additionally, Prof. Ongoebi Etebu received 1,277 votes, David Lyon, the APC’s candidate for governor in 2019, received 1,584 votes, Isikima Johnson received 584 votes, and Festus Daumiebi received 557 votes.