The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has published amended lists of candidates for the upcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa and Imo States.
The updated lists, available on the commission’s website, revealed that the names of Timipre Sylva and his running mate, Joshua Maciver of the All Progressives Congress (APC), were excluded from the Bayelsa State election.
The document, signed by the Secretary to the Commission, Rose Oriaran-Anthony, displayed the names of the APC candidate and his running mate as missing, with “court order” remarks noted in the respective columns.
In the case of Imo State, the INEC included the names of Uchechukwu Ishiodu as the governorship candidate and Ahumbe Chiazor as the running mate for the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) in the state election.
Oriaran-Anthony explained that INEC’s actions were in compliance with court orders regarding the candidate lists.
She noted that INEC initially published the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election on June 9, as per the provisions of Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022, and the election timetable.
However, the commission received a court order related to the nomination of the APC candidate for the Bayelsa State governorship election.
By virtue of Section 287 of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended), INEC is obliged to enforce court orders on the nomination of political party candidates in the state.
Hence, the amended list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election was revised in compliance with the court’s orders.
Similarly, INEC initially published the final list of candidates for the Imo State governorship election on June 9, following the provisions of Section 32 of the Electoral Act, 2022, and the election timetable.
After this publication, the commission was served with a court order for the inclusion of the PRP and its candidate on the list of candidates for the 2023 Imo State governorship election.
Again, in adherence to Section 287 of the Constitution, the amended list of candidates for the 2023 Imo State Governorship Election was revised based on the court’s orders.
These amendments follow a Federal High Court judgment in Abuja that disqualified Timipre Sylva from participating in the Bayelsa State governorship election, citing constitutional restrictions.
In a separate case, the Federal High Court in Owerri also ordered INEC to include the name of the PRP governorship candidate in the list of nominated candidates for the Imo State governorship election.