On Tuesday, the Independent National Electoral Commission released the amended lists of candidates for Bayelsa and Imo States governorship elections on their website as Signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony.
Following the amended list, the names of Timipre Sylva and his running mate, Joshua Maciver the flag bearers of All Progressives Congress were omitted from the lists leaving their space blank with ‘Court Order’.
However, Uchechukwu Ishiodu and Ahumbe Chiazor were included as the Governorship and running mate respectively for the Peoples Redemption Party flag bearer in the amended lists of candidates for the Imo States governorship election. Oriaran-Anthony said the included names in the amended list were in obedience to court orders, served on the commission.
Meanwhile, on 9th June 2023, INEC published the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election concerning Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022. But the commission was served with a court order after the publication due to the nomination of Timipre Sylva and his running mate, Joshua Maciver, the All Progressives Congress candidates for the Bayelsa State governorship election.
Rose Oriaran-Anthony said: “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 amended list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Bayelsa State governorship election is hereby amended pursuant to the orders of court served on the commission,” Oriaran-Anthony.
“After the said publication, the Commission was served with an Order of Court for the inclusion of the PRP and its candidate on the list of candidates for the 2023 Imo State governorship election, the secretary continued.
“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 amended list of candidates in respect of the 2023 Imo State Governorship election is hereby amended pursuant to the orders of court served on the Commission,” Oriaran-Anthony disclosed.
Timipre Sylva was disqualified, on October 10, by the Federal High Court, Abuja, from participating in the state governorship election.
In ruling, Justice Donatus Okorowo disclosed that Sylva was not qualified to participate in the November poll stressing that if he won and was sworn in, he would rule more than eight years as governor of the state. Hence, it would breach the 1999 constitution as amended if allowed to contest again for being sworn in twice and ruled for five years as the Bayelsa State governor.
In this way, the Federal High Court, Owerri judicial division, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include the name of the Peoples Redemption Party governorship candidate in the list of candidates as published on the INEC website.