Timipre Sylva, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in Bayelsa’s November 11 governorship election, says he had only served as governor once.
Mr Sylva, ex-Bayelsa governor, Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, in a counter affidavit he deposed to and filed by his lawyer, Adelani Ajibade.
The application was in reaction to the originating summons filed by Demesuoyefa Kolomo, an APC member, asking the court to order INEC to delete Mr Sylva’s name from the list of candidates for the forthcoming gubernatorial poll.
Mr had asked the court to determine “whether having regard to the indisputable fact that Sylva occupied the office of governor of Bayelsa from May 29, 2007, to April 15, 2008, and May 27, 2008, to January 27, 2012, he is qualified to contest and be elected for another four years term in view of section 180(2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”
Reacting in the counter affidavit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/821/23 dated and filed June 27, the ex-minister averred that except otherwise expressly stated, all the facts deposed to in the application were within his personal knowledge, information and belief.
Although Mr Sylva admitted he was a former governor of Bayelsa, he stressed that he had only been elected once, insisting there was no election in 2007.
“I have only occupied the office of the governor of Bayelsa state on one occasion. I was elected as the governor of Bayelsa State on 27th May, 2008. Contrary to paragraph 5 of the affidavit (attached to the originating summons), I know that by virtue of the Court of Appeal judgment referred to, that is now reported as Amgbare Vs. Sylva (2009) 1 NWLR (Pt. 1121), there was no election in Bayelsa State in 2007,” he said.
The former governor said it was within his constitutional and legal right to contest the governorship poll in November.
According to him, sections 180 (2)(a) and 182 (1) (b) do not apply to” me in this circumstance and cannot validly and legally disqualify me from contesting election into the office of governor of Bayelsa.”
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