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The Supreme Court on Monday granted leave to the former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, to seek to validate his nomination as the Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party [PDP] for the forthcoming gubernatorial election in the state.

The five-man panel of the apex court presided over by Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar cleared the way for Sylva when it granted him leave to file a cross appeal against the decision of the Court of Appeal, which held that the trial Judge Gabriel Kolawole went beyond himself in warning PDP not to tamper with the subject matter of the action before him.

The court also granted an order for accelerated hearing of the appeal of PDP and the cross appeal filed by Sylva and fixed February 7, 2012 for definite hearing. “In view of the fact that this is a political matter and requires urgency, the application for accelerated hearing is hereby granted. The appeal and cross appeal are fixed for next Tuesday, February 7 for hearing”, Justice Mukhtar held.

In Sylva’s cross appeal filed by Prince Lateef Fagbemi [SAN], he asked the apex court to consider the urgency and circumstances of the case and invoke Section 22 of its enabling statute and hear the case fully and determine it to its finality as if it is the high court.

If the court agrees with him, it will hear the originating summons filed by Sylva at the Federal High Court.
Both Sylva and PDP are presently before the apex court because they were dissatisfied with the judgment of the Abuja Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal had held that Sylva was right to have filed his case against PDP at the Federal High Court but added that the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole went too far when he threatened to sanction PDP and INEC if they failed to appear before it within 72 hours to show cause why he should not grant Sylva all the reliefs he sought from the court.

In his appeal, Sylva said that the Court of Appeal erred in law when it held that the pronouncement of the trial judge, asking the Respondents to show cause and also warning the Respondents from taking any action which would foist upon the court a hopeless situation without hearing the Respondents amounted to pre-judging the issue before him.

He argued that a court of law had the responsibility of protecting the sanctity of its proceedings.

But PDP in its appeal said the court of appeal erred in law when it held that the Federal High Court had jurisdiction to hear Sylva’s case. It asked the court to strike out the case.

Sylva, however asked the court to grant all the reliefs he asked for at the high court.

It will be recalled that on Saturday January 7th, 2012 the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal y ruled that Sylva was right in approaching the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop PDP from conducting another primary for the purpose of selecting the party’s candidate for the next governorship election.


  1. Victor Arogunyo says:

    I hope this judgement will deter high profile government officials from the abuse of power and office.


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