Setback for APC’s Timipre Sylva as Court Refuses Stay on Candidature Nullification

Setback for APC Governorship Candidate Timipre Sylva in Bayelsa Election Bid

The governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timipre Sylva, has faced a significant setback in his quest to contest the November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa State.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has rejected motions by the APC and Sylva aimed at staying the execution of the judgment that nullified their candidature.

Sylva took this action following a Federal High Court judgment in Abuja that disqualified him from running as the APC candidate due to having served two terms as governor.

In a unanimous decision by a panel of three justices, Justice William Daudu dismissed the motions, finding them lacking in merit.

The Federal High Court had previously ruled that Sylva was ineligible to participate in the November election since winning and being sworn in would result in him spending more than eight years as the state’s governor.

This decision cited the case of Marwa vs. Nyako at the Supreme Court, emphasizing that the constitution prohibits anyone from being elected as governor more than twice.

The court further highlighted that the Supreme Court had ruled in the case of Marwa vs. Nyako that the constitution’s provisions cannot be expanded or altered.

Allowing Sylva to contest the upcoming election would effectively undermine this constitutional principle.

The lawsuit (FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2023) was filed on June 13, 2023, by Deme Kolomo, an APC member.

As a result of the court’s ruling, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) excluded Sylva’s name and that of his running mate, Joshua Maciver, from the list of candidates for the November 11 election.

The list included a note stating “Court order” in the column reserved for the names of the APC candidate and his running mate.


Timipre Sylva’s setback in his bid to contest the governorship election in Bayelsa State is a significant legal development.

The court’s refusal to grant a stay of execution following the previous judgment barring him from running underscores the importance of adhering to constitutional term limits.

This case highlights the judiciary’s role in upholding the principles of the constitution and preventing individuals from exceeding their term limits as stipulated in the law.

It will be interesting to see how this legal battle unfolds and its impact on the upcoming election in Bayelsa State.

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