The Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Seriake Dickson, has said that a former Governor of the state, Chief Timipre Sylva, is still owing him N500,000 judgment debt since 2012.
Dickson, who revealed this in a statement on Monday by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, said that Sylva, who allegedly held the Supreme Court in contempt in 2012 had reverted to the same court for justice.
Dickson alleged that Sylva committed contempt of court in 2012 by refusing to pay him the sum of N5, 000,000 being the amount the Supreme Court ordered him (Sylva) to pay him as damages for “abusing court process and for wasting the time of the justices”.
Dickson posited that if Sylva had respect for the judiciary, he would have paid him the N500,000 as ordered by the apex court.
The governor said, “The Supreme Court, consisting of five justices in 2012, had in a unanimous judgement resolved in his favour, the two issues raised by Sylva for determination before awarding the damages.
“Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, who read the lead judgement was hard on the former governor for wasting the time of the court and awarded N500,000 as cost against Sylva, to be paid to Dickson, the third respondent. Whereas the Independent National Electoral Commission and the Peoples Democratic Party, who were listed as 1st and 2nd defendants, were to bear their costs.
“Sylva has yet to pay me the sum of N500,000 as ordered by the highest court in the land, thereby disrespecting the apex court. It is therefore surprising that it is still the same apex court Sylva is returning to ask the court to remove him (Governor Seriake Dickson) on the frivolous grounds that the election which brought him to office was unknown to law.”
Sylva, the All Progressives Congress candidate in the 2015 and 2016 governorship elections in Bayelsa State, has reportedly gone to the Supreme Court to appeal the judgement of the appellate court.
The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja had upheld the election of Dickson in September, this year.
Sylva is said to be asking the apex court to set aside the judgement of the Court of Appeal, which dismissed the appeal seeking to overturn the decision of the Bayelsa State Election Petitions Tribunal that upheld the election of Dickson as winner of the last election in the state.
Effort to get Sylva’s reaction to Dickson’s allegation was unsuccessful as calls to his (Sylva’s) mobile phone did not connect.