A group, the Bayelsa Youth Professional Forum, has claimed that core loyalists of the All Progressives Congress, APC, candidate in the last governorship election in the state, Timipre Sylva, are already in celebration mood following the decision of the Appeal Court to reserve ruling on his petition challenging the election of the state governor, Seriake Dickson.
The APC and Sylva had approached the Appeal Court seeking nullification of the judgement of the election petitions tribunal which earlier held that Dickson was validly elected in the December/January election in the state.
But the Court of Appeal had last Tuesday in Abuja reserved ruling on the matter. The court is also sitting on multiple appeals from the judgement of the Bayelsa State governorship election petition tribunal.
The group, in a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by its President, Kenneth Daziba, said that Sylva’s supporters were rejoicing because of their hope that a favourable judgement was in the offing for the APC candidate at the Court of Appeal.
He also claimed that the confidence of Sylva’s supporters grew when the Court of Appeal struck out the preliminary objection filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Sylva’s appeal challenging the judgement of the state election petitions tribunal which upheld Dickson’s election.
According to Daziba, the said core loyalists have confided in some “strategic individuals” in the state that they had received “firm assurances” from a “key point man” in the Buhari administration who allegedly instructed the three-man panel of judges sitting on the matter to give ruling in favour of the APC.
He alleged that Sylva had recently been seen always hanging around at the Villa trying to seek audience with President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.
The group, however, warned on the potential danger of perverting justice and implication for peace in the Niger Delta, noting that its concern on the matter was “already a major source of worry in some informed circles in the state”.
“Things are said to be looking up for Sylva given the outcome of the first round of sitting at the appellate court which also refused the application by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to amend its brief by adding some words which it claimed were omitted. Sylva’s supporters are really very hopeful because the thinking is that once the appellate court grants them victory, it will simply prepare the ground for the Supreme Court to affirm the appellate court decision given the fact that most of the justices at the apex court are pro-APC. No wonder Sylva’s supporters are in the mood of celebration right now. But we must all be concerned about the price of any miscarriage of justice. This is why we are sending this warning signal to the judiciary not to allow itself to be used or manipulated by selfish politicians,” it stated.