After agreeing with Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Chief James Ogwu Onoja that the first oath had been void by other courts, the Court dismissed Sylva’s claims that he took the governorship oath twice.
In case number CA/ABJ/CV/1052/2023, Justice Zubar also threw out the charges against APC that its primary election on April 14, 2023, which chose Sylva as its candidate for flagbearer, was illegal.
A unanimous decision was found in favor of Onoja, who had argued that the primary election had been conducted in accordance with the law because of the mountain of evidence presented by the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In his brief for Sylva, Onoja SAN described how the APC used a direct primary to select its governorship candidate on April 14 across all 106 wards in Bayelsa’s eight local government areas.
The senior attorney also detailed the results of the election, noting that Sylva received 52,062 votes and the appellant received 584 votes, behind Joshua Maciver (2,078), David Perewomini Lyon (1,584), Ongoebi Etebu (1,277), and Daumiebi Festus Sunday (557).
The Appeal Court ruled that the appellant’s claims that Sylva emerged without a primary election were unfounded, based on the uncontested evidence and the monitoring report of INEC as a statutory entity.
The uncontested independent report of INEC demonstrates that APC held a legitimate primary election and that the electoral umpire observed it in accordance with the law.
Because the appeal was filed more than 14 days before the election, Justice Zubar ruled that it was time-barred.
Overall, the Court of Appeal upheld Justice Inyang Ekwo’s September 26 dismissal of the claim at a Federal High Court in Abuja for lack of merit and substance.
Johnson had, via an originating summons, dragged APC, INEC, and Sylva before the Federal High Court, requesting an order to disqualify him from being permitted to participate in the impending November governorship election in Bayelsa State.
She claimed that the April 14 primary election that produced Sylvia was illegal and unlawful because it was allegedly conducted in violation of APC’s guidelines and that Sylva had been elected into governorship office twice and taken the oath of office and oath of allegiance twice.
But the High Court threw out the case, and the Court of Appeal upheld that decision.