Court dismisses Sylva’s suit against Dickson


timipre_sylvaThe Federal High Court sitting in Yenagoa on Wednesday dismissed the case filed by a former Governor of Bayelsa, Mr Timipre Sylva, against the election of Gov. Seriake Dickson.

Sylva had filed a fresh suit seeking to be declared the authentic candidate of PDP for the February 2012 governorship election in the state.

His counsel, Mr. Robert Clarke (SAN), filed the suit on his behalf.

The court, presided over by Justice Akanbi Lambo, declared that continuous litigation on the case, which had been rested by the Supreme Court, amounted to an abuse of the judicial process.

He said it amounted to judicial rascality for Sylva and his lawyers to bring such matter that had been rested by the apex court before the lower court.

Lambo said: “It is an abuse of the court process for the plaintiff (Sylva) to approach this court on a matter already decided by the Supreme Court.

“I shall not encourage any journey in futility.”

The judge read through the pronouncements of the Supreme Court on the matter and subsequently adopted the position of the apex court.

He advised that there should be an end to litigation on the case.

He dismissed the argument of the plaintiff that since he won the January 2011 primary election, organised by PDP, the party had no right to organise another primary election in November 2011.

The November 2011 primary produced Dickson as the party’s candidate for the general election.

The judge said that the case had dragged on for so long and had outlived its usefulness as it had extended beyond the time frame allowed by the Electoral Act.

The judge said the plaintiff instituted the matter in the court 11months after the election, which was contrary to the three months allowed by the law.

“This matter was instituted in January, which is a period of about 11 months. It is clearly outside the period allowed by the law.

“The right of the claimant (Sylva) against the public office holder becomes extinguished after three months.

“It is a settled law. The plaintiff ‘s case is hereby dismissed”, Akambi declared.

After the judgment, Clark walked away but the counsel to PDP, Mr. Abibo Granville (SAN), said the court had upheld his position that Sylva had no locus to continue to challenge the election.

“The end product of this case favours the PDP and Gov. Dickson, and this has been our position that former Gov. Sylva has no standi or authority to continue to file this case.

“Fortunately, today the judge came to our view that the repetitive filing of the case before the court is an abuse of court process.

“The processes of the court are to be used in furthering the rule of law especially when you have the right that could be ventilated”, Granville said.

He said if the rule of law must hold, there must be an end to litigation.

“There is a mandate and it is unnecessary, therefore, to continue to challenge that mandate,” the lawyer said.



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