The All Progressives Congress (APC) says delisting its candidate, Chief Timipre Sylva from the list of governorship candidates for November 11 Bayelsa governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is premature.
Mr Felix Morka, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, said this in a statement in Abuja.
“The attention of the APC has been drawn to the updated list of gubernatorial candidates for the Nov. 11 governorship election in Bayelsa by INEC, which excluded our candidate’s name, Chief Timipre Sylva.
“This action by INEC may not be unconnected with the High Court judgement of October 9, which disqualified Chief Timipre Sylva as the candidate of our party.
“Our candidate and party promptly appealed that judgment and brought other processes seeking a stay of the judgment’s execution.
“Recognising the extreme urgency of the matter, the Court of Appeal granted an order of accelerated hearing of the matter now fixed for definite hearing on Friday Oct. 27,” Morka said.
He added that INEC was a party in the matter and had been served with all relevant filings and orders regarding the matter.
He said that delisting APC’s candidate in the circumstances as INEC had done was clearly premature and could preempt the outcome of the valid appeal in the matter.
He said that removing the party’s candidate from the list of governorship contestants in Bayelsa would foist a situation of helplessness on the appellate court, the candidate and the party should the appeal succeed.
Morka urged INEC to withdraw its amendment under reference in the interest of fairness.
He appealed to the people of Bayelsa, especially APC’s teeming members and supporters, to remain calm while the judicial process runs its full course.
He expressed confidence that the party’s candidate would be victorious both at the Court of Appeal and at the poll.
Justice Donatus Okorowo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, in a judgement delivered on October 9, disqualified Sylva from featuring in the November 11 governorship election.
Okorowo ruled that Sylva, having been sworn in twice and ruled for five years as governor of Bayelsa, would breach the 1999 constitution as amended if allowed to contest again.