By Gift Habib
The Independent National Electoral Commission has released an amended list of candidates for Bayelsa State governorship election.
According to the amended list uploaded on the commission’s website on Monday, the names of Timipre Sylva and his running mate, Joshua Maciver of the All Progressives Congress made the list.
The list was signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on October 10, disqualified Sylva from participating in the state governorship election.
Justice Donatus Okorowo, in the judgment, ruled that Sylva having been sworn in twice and ruled for five years as governor of the state, would breach the 1999 Constitution as amended if allowed to contest again.
The judge also declared that Sylva was not qualified to run in the poll because if he won and was sworn in, he would spend more than eight years in office as governor of the state.
Not satisfied with the judgment, Sylva approached the Court of Appeal, through his lawyer, Dr Ahmed Raji, to challenge the decision of the court.
While the appeal was pending, INEC on October 25 released a list of candidates for the election without the former governor’s name.
Meanwhile, Oriaran-Anthony, in the amended document, explained that the action of the commission was in obedience to court orders on the lists served on the commission.
She explained, “It may be recalled that the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election was amended on October 16, 2023, according to the Order of the Federal High Court in Suit No-FHC/ABJ/CS/821/2023 in respect of the nomination of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election.
“The Court of Appeal in a judgment delivered on October 31 2023 in Appeal No CA/ABI/CV/1060/2023 set aside the judgment of the lower court cited above.
“By virtue of the provision of Section 287 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), the commission is bound to enforce the orders of the court on the nomination of candidates by political parties in the state.
“The list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship election is hereby amended in Amendment No 2 pursuant to the judgment of the Court of Appeal.”