The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has issued amended lists of candidates for the forthcoming governorship elections in Bayelsa and Imo states. The updated lists, published on the commission’s website, notably exclude Timipre Sylva and his running mate, Joshua Maciver of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from the Bayelsa election. The column for the names of the APC candidate and his running mate remained blank, with “court order” noted as the reason.
For the Imo governorship election, the commission has added the names of Uchechukwu Ishiodu as the governorship candidate and Ahumbe Chiazor as the running mate, representing the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP).
Rose Oriaran-Anthony, the Secretary to the Commission, explained that INEC’s actions were taken in response to court orders served on the commission. She emphasized that INEC had initially published the final list of candidates for the 2023 Bayelsa State Governorship Election on June 9 in compliance with the law and schedule of activities. However, the subsequent court order regarding the APC’s candidate nomination required the amendments to the list.
Oriaran-Anthony also noted that a similar situation occurred for the Imo State governorship election, where an order of court required the inclusion of the PRP and its candidate on the list of candidates.
The Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier disqualified Timipre Sylva from participating in the Bayelsa governorship election due to constitutional limitations. Justice Donatus Okorowo’s judgment ruled that Sylva’s candidacy would exceed the constitutional term limits. Additionally, the Federal High Court in Owerri ordered INEC to include the PRP governorship candidate’s name in the list of nominated candidates. These amendments to the candidates’ lists reflect INEC’s commitment to adhering to court orders in the nomination of candidates by political parties.