In a twist of events, Timipre Sylva, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the highly contentious November 11 governorship election in Bayelsa, has ignited controversy by claiming that he was never elected as the state’s governor on two separate occasions. Sylva, the former Minister of State for Petroleum, has vehemently refuted allegations that he held the position of Bayelsa governor from April 14, 2007, to April 15, 2008, and May 24, 2008, to January 27, 2012.
Sylva presented his case to Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court in Abuja by filing a counteraffidavit that he personally signed and submitted through his attorney, Adelani Ajibade. The application was filed in response to Chief Demesuoyefa Kolomo, a fellow member of the APC, who had submitted an originating summons to the court, urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to remove Sylva’s name from the list of candidates participating in the upcoming governorship poll.
Kolomo’s petition posed a crucial question to the court, seeking a determination on whether Sylva, who occupied the office of Bayelsa governor from May 29, 2007, to April 15, 2008, and May 27, 2008, to January 27, 2012, is eligible to contest and be elected for another four-year term, considering the provisions of Section 180(2)(a) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
In his response within the counter affidavit, which bears the marking FHC/ABJ/CS/821/23 and is dated and filed on June 27, the former minister made it clear that, unless explicitly stated otherwise, all the facts presented in the application were within his personal knowledge, information, and belief.
While acknowledging that he previously held the position of Bayelsa governor, Sylva firmly asserted that he had only been elected once to govern the state, adamantly asserting that no election took place in 2007. This statement has sparked controversy and raised questions about the credibility of his claim.
As the legal battle unfolds, all eyes remain on the Federal High Court in Abuja, awaiting its verdict on the matter. The outcome of this case could have far-reaching implications for Sylva’s political career and the upcoming governorship election in Bayelsa.