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BAYELSA GUBER: SYLVA HEADS FOR COURT

By NBF News
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Embattled Bayelsa State Governor, Timipre Sylva, has decided to legally challenge his disqualification by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from contesting the November 19 state governorship primary election.

Daily Sun learnt from an impeccable source close to the governor that Sylva's lawyers filed an application at a Yenagoa High Court yesterday, praying the court to stop the primaries from holding on Saturday until the suit is determined.

He is also challenging the decision of the National Working Committee of the party, which barred him from the primaries without giving 'cogent reasons' for his disqualification.

Sylva wants the court to declare whether the NWC had the powers to stop him when such provision was not expressly stated in the constitution of the party.

'The governor has filed applications at the court today (yesterday). His lawyers are already filing papers as we speak.

'As a loyal party man, he believes it is within his right to defend his ambition. After all, the party did not state what his offence was unlike the case of Alaibe, Murray-Bruce and Igali,' the source said.

The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Professor Rufai Ahmed Alkali, through a statement on Sunday, announced that the incumbent Bayelsa chief executive and three other aspirants - Chief Timi Alaibe, Mr Ben Murray-Bruce and Dr Godknows Igali - have been disqualified from the primaries.

The party only said after a review of the reports of the governorship screening and the governorship appeal screening panels and that after a painstaking examination of all the issues raised about each aspirant, the NWC cleared seven out of 11 of them.

Those cleared include Boloubo Orufa, Seriake Dickson, Christopher Enai and Youpele Kalango. Others were Francis Doukpola, Francis Ekiyegha and Austin Febo.

Sylva had dared the party last Saturday when he held a massive rally in Yenagoa during which he announced his candidature for the primary election, based on the provisional clearance certificate issued by the governorship screening panel in Port Harcourt on October 27.

He claimed the clearance certificate was valid as it was issued by a properly constituted organ of the party.

Apart from the suit, Daily Sun learnt that Sylva is also plotting other strategies to ensure his re-election bid is not torpedoed by the PDP, one of which is to defect to another party to actualise his second term ambition.

'But that is a decision that would be taken after exploring other avenues within the party and within the ambit of the law,' the source further stated.

His Chief Press Secretary, Mr Doifie Ola, could not be reached on his mobile telephone as at press time just as he did not also respond to an SMS on the matter.