Ahmed Raji, the lawyer of the All Progressive Congress governorship candidate in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, has written to the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the amended list of candidates for the election.
In his letter dated October 25, 2023, Raji argued that INEC’s decision was based on a judgment that was already appealed by Sylva at the Court of Appeal.
He said that INEC should wait for the outcome of the appeal before taking any action that may affect Sylva or any other party.
He also said that the parties that sued Sylva were not candidates in the election and they were trying to deny him and his party the chance to contest.
He asked INEC to respect the rule of law and withdraw the amended list of candidates for the sake of justice and fair play.
The letter read, “Dear sir, you will recall that the judgment in issue, that arose from the above suit was delivered on the 9th of October,2023 and our client, being an ardent and firm believer in the efficacy of the judiciary and the rule of law, immediately filed an appeal within 24 hours of the judgment, on the 10th October, 2023.
“In addition to the notice of appeal, our client expeditiously compiled the record of appeal and transmitted same in less than 10 days.
“The appeal was successfully entered on the 18th October 2023, with Appeal No. CA/ABJ/CS/1060/2023.
“The above being the case, the commission, as a respected arbiter and law-abiding institution, is expected to respectfully wait for the outcome of the appeal, before taking any step that may be prejudicial to any of the parties, particularly, our client.
“This is in view of the fact that the parties that went to court are not candidates in the forthcoming election, unlike our client. In other words, they do not have anything to lose, rather, they are fighting proxy battles to deny our client and his party the opportunity to participate in the forthcoming election.
“We know that the Commission has always been consistent in a matter like this, to wait until the entire appellate process and proceedings are completed, one way or the other.”
The Court of Appeal in Abuja will hear Sylva’s appeal on Friday.
Sylva and APC want the court to overturn the October 9 judgment that nullified Sylva’s candidacy.