Ahead of the Bayelsa State governorship election slated for November 11, strong indications have emerged that the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Chief Timpre Sylva and running mate, Joshua Maciver, may be disqualified.
This disqualification is likely to come on the heels of a suit filed against the candidate of the APC and his running mate and INEC, by the plaintiff, Incorporated Trustees of the Trustfield Empowerment Initiative at the Federal High Court, Abuja.
According to the plaintiff, Sylva’s running mate, Maciver’s jail term still running over a criminal offence, hence the party’s governorship candidate does not have a valid running mate for the election.
The plaintiff also queried INEC to allow Maciver to become a running-mate to Sylva knowing quite alright that Maciver is serving a criminal jail term.
Meanwhile, the plaintiff said, “The provisions of Sections 175(1), 182(1)(d) & (2)(c) and 187(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria clearly stated that anybody having been convicted for a criminal offence with a sentence of imprisonment, without Presidential Pardon, is not eligible to be recognised or listed by INEC, which MacIver is affected by these provisions.
“Due to term of imprisonment, MacIver should not be given recognition by INEC as the running mate of Sylva for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election is not at variance with the Constitution of the Federal of Nigeria, null and void ab initio?
“On the heels of these we are unequivocally stating here that in view of the conviction of MacIver for a sentence of imprisonment, he cannot be a running mate of Sylva who is contesting for the office of Governor of Bayelsa State in the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election, hence Sylva does not have a running mate as submitted to INEC.
“We also declare that recognition and listing of MacIver who is under a sentence of imprisonment, without Presidential Pardon, as the Deputy Governorship candidate Sylva in the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election is illegal, unlawful, null and a gross violation of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Therefore, we pray the Federal High Court, Abuja to give an order of perpetual injunction restraining the INEC from recognising MacIver and Sylva as not having a running mate for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election.”