…Says Court Verdict On Sylva Reaffirms Faith On Judiciary

Bight Newspaper gathered that an advocacy group promoting transparent and peaceful governance in Bayelsa State, Bayelsa Democratic Coalition, has called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to respect the decision of a Federal High Court which disqualified the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timipre Sylva, from participating in next month’s governorship election in the State.

Recall Bight Newspaper had earlier reported that Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, disqualified the Bayelsa State APC candidate in the November 11 governorship election.

However, the Bayelsa State APC Gubernatorial Campaign Council faulted the judgement of the Federal High Court.

However, Orama David, coordinator of the Coalition, in a press statement made available to journalists in Abuja, hailed the decision of the Court and described it as victory for democracy.

He claimed that Sylva’s disqualification indicated that the governorship election will be free, fair and peaceful, unlike the 2019 poll, which was adjudged as one of the most violent in the State.

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According to him, the decision has not only upheld the principles of justice and the Constitution, but is also seen as a “crucial step towards ensuring a violence-free and credible governorship election in our beloved state, considering the palpable fear of violence, that the earlier participation of Mr. Timipre Sylva, as the candidate of APC has brought into the process.

“We commend the recent ruling by the Federal High Court disqualifying Mr. Timipre Sylva from the governorship race in Bayelsa State. This landmark judging by his antecedent in previous elections in the state, particularly in 2015, adjudged by many observers to be the deadliest and most bloody in the annals of elections in the State.

“The Federal High Court’s verdict has reaffirmed our faith in the judicial system and its commitment to upholding the rule of law. We believe that this ruling is a significant milestone, not only in the journey towards a better, more accountable, and violence-free democratic process in Bayelsa State, but removals the spectre of hijacking the will of the people.”

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Orama said the disqualification of Sylva was in line with the 1999 Constitution and represents victory for electoral integrity in the country.

He said: “Our group recognises the importance of free and fair elections as the cornerstone of a thriving democracy. The disqualification of Mr. Timi Sylva from the governorship race, in line with Constitutional imperatives, represents a victory for electoral integrity and sends a clear message that the democratic process in Nigeria is built on principles of fairness, transparency, and the rule of law.

“We call on all stakeholders, including political parties, candidates, and the electorate, to uphold the spirit of peaceful and violence-free elections. We urge every Bayelsa citizen to contribute positively to the electoral process, ensuring that our state’s future leadership is determined through issue based campaigns and ballots, not intimidation and bullets.

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“As we approach the forthcoming Governorship Election in Bayelsa State, we encourage INEC, all parties and candidates to respect the court’s decision that Chief Slyva is disqualified, conduct their campaigns within the bounds of the law, and work collaboratively to create an atmosphere of peace and security for the electorate.

“As an organisation, we are committed to monitoring the electoral process, promoting transparency, and supporting initiatives that guarantee a peaceful and violence-free Governorship Election, in our state,” he added.

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