A socio-cultural group, Niger Delta Peace and Justice Movement, has lashed
out at the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the
last election in Bayelsa State, Timipre Sylva, accusing him of playing
games with the judiciary from the Election Petition Tribunal, Court of
Appeal and now the Supreme Court, in his so called election petition.
The group in a statement by its General Secretary, Barrister Stephen
Ebibofa, and made available to the Press yesterday in Abuja claimed that
Sylva was hell-bent on intimidating and blackmailing the judiciary using
the presidency to delay proceedings at the apex court even when all
parties have already accepted service and filed their respective papers.
Ebibofa stated:” Having lost the election woefully in seven out of eight
local government areas in the state, followed by his humiliating defeat at
the election petition tribunal and Court of Appeal where his petition was
accordingly dismissed in a unanimous decision, Sylva has filed a motion to
delay proceedings after both parties have already filed their papers”.
He noted that the decisions at both the Election Petition Tribunal and the
Court of Appeal had vindicated the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its
candidate, Seriake Dickson, saying that “truth is sacred” and as such
Sylva was only resorting to delay in order to intimidate and manipulate
The group stated that perhaps faced with a possible ban from contesting
future governorship election as contained in Dickson’s cross appeal before
the Supreme Court, Sylva rushed to the apex court to file a motion it
regarded as an attempt to delay proceedings.
According to the statement, the group held that Sylva and his supporters
are boasting that with the appointment and resumption of a new Chief
Justice of Nigeria, the Presidency, according to Sylva has been instructed
to nullify the election which brought Dickson to a second term and to
order a fresh election in Bayelsa using most of the newly appointed
members of the Supreme Court. A number of the newly appointed members are
said to be members of the panel pencil down to preside over the case.
“Sylva is causing delay to avoid the hearing of the case, a case he first
brought before the Supreme Court. It is instructive for all patriots to
note that the likes of Sylva are a threat to our democracy and judiciary.
Obviously, he has no respect for institutions of state, believing that any
institution can be bought or rubbished as he’s bragging and boasting all
over and dropping the name of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“But we are calling on the Supreme Court not to fall for his dangerous
antics. Sylva believes that he can use the APC-led Federal Government to
harass and intimidate the judiciary but as a group, we believe that such
negative action will further drag the judiciary in the mud. And in spite
of Sylva’s bragging to corrupt the judiciary, we are confident that the
judiciary as a pillar of justice will once again acquit itself
Ebibofa said the whole world is watching to see how Sylva could ever hope
to manipulate the case, when both the Governorship Election Petition
Tribunal and Court of Appeal had in deference to the law and facts of the
case unanimously dismissed the case.
“Hence it is clear that Sylva and the APC have no case”, he stated.
In a related development, the PDP in Bayelsa State, in a statement issued
by its Chairman, Chief Moses Cleopas, has also called on Sylva to stop
desecrating the judiciary. The party said it was waiting for Sylva and APC
to prove its case before the apex court since Sylva’s case were thrown out
unanimously by the two lower courts.
He stated: “It is clear that Sylva and the APC have no case. All they are
banking on is the dangerous propaganda that President Muhammadu Buhari
will secure judgement for them by intimidating the judiciary to deliver
judgement in his favour. But this proposition is certainly untenable in
the face of what we went through in that election and indeed the facts in
our favour. The APC is a party of deception and propaganda. The ongoing
attack on the judiciary is a not a fight against corruption but an attempt
to cow the judiciary and other arms of government. When they intimidate,
harass the judiciary to do their bidding as Sylva is doing in Bayelsa, it
is not corruption. Sylva’s latest move, if allowed, will be the final blow
to the judiciary especially the Supreme Court.”
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Source: Today Trending News