Kogi Governorship Tribunal To Accept Forensic Evidence

KogiThe Kogi State governorship election tribunal siting in Abuja has agreed to accept forensic reports as parts of evidence to be tendered by the petitioner during the proceedings.



Ruling on an earlier motion filed by the petitioner, Captain Idris Wada, Justice Halima Mohammed said that the court would accept forensic experts as witnesses and their reports as evidence.

The court also asked all parties to the case to streamline their witnesses so as to enable it give judgement within the expected time frame.

Having ruled on all preliminary objections, the petitioner further proposed to the court that all certified documents from INEC be allowed to be tendered by consent during the proceedings.

Lead counsel to the petitioner, Chris Uche (SAN), said that the decision of the court is important to proving his case, while counsel to INEC, Alex Iziyon, (SAN) insisted that such documents should be verified before they are accepted by the court

Counsel to the first respondent, the Governor of Kogi State, Mr Yahaya Bello, Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN) also maintained that tendering of documents should be based on what the law says and not the views of the parties.

The court has adjourned till March 15 to rule on other pre-hearing matters, including duration for cross-examination of witnesses and whether or not all certified documents from INEC be tendered by consent.

Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal Begins Sitting

akwa ibom-benue, tribunal-sarakiThe Kogi State governorship Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday commenced proceedings.

The tribunal headed by Justice Alima ‎Mohammed, however adjourned the sitting of the tribunal to 4thof march for pre-trial hearing to enable parties in the suit to exchange briefs.

In his petition, the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, Representative James Falake is asking the tribunal to declare him governor.

According to Mr Faleke, the governor did not participate fully in the polls as such he cannot be given the privilege of becoming the governor.

The immediate past governor, Captain Idris Wada on his part is asking the tribunal to set aside Governor Yahaya Bello’s election because he was not validly elected.

According to him Mr Bello is an interloper who did not participate in the election.

Other parties in the case, the Progressive People Alliance (PPA), Labour Party (LP), African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), are all asking the tribunal to set aside the election of Governor Yahaya Bello.

NLC Asks Workers To Resume Work In Kogi

KogiThe Leadership of the Kogi State chapter of the NLC has asked the civil servants to suspend the ongoing seven weeks strike and return to their various offices.

The directive was given by the Kogi State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Onuh Edoka, following the intervention of the new Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

The decision to suspend the strike was taken as a result of joint meeting with the labour and the State government where Governor Bello pledged to ensure that workers salary would be paid henceforth latest on the 25th day of every month.

Mr Edoka said the that the workers embarked on the industrial action as a result of the inability of the last administration of Captain Idris Wada to pay the accumulated three months’ salary, despite collecting the allocations for those months.

He reminded the government of some of its agreement and urge them not to fail.

While given his keynote address, Governor Bello expressed regret that government was unable to pay its workers that had diligently performed their duties.

He promised to clear the entire arrears of salaries of State and Local government workers as well as primary school teachers in the state as soon as he gets the bailout.

Wada Challenges Outcome Of Kogi Election At Tribunal

governor wadaThe Governor of Kogi State and the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) at the Kogi governorship election, Captain Idris Wada, has filed a petition at the State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, challenging the outcome of the exercise.

Governor Wada’s spokesman, Mr Jacob Edi, told Channels Television on Wednesday that Captain Wada had dragged the Governor-elect, Mr Yahaya Bello, his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission to the Tribunal.

The Governor is praying the Tribunal to declare him winner of the exercise, arguing that Mr Bello was not qualified to be declared winner and did not have a deputy governor, a situation he claimed disqualified him from vying for the governor’s position.

Mr Bello was a substitute for the late candidate of the APC, Mr Abubakar Audu, who died a day after the governorship election.

Late Audu’s deputy, Honourable James Faleke, had wanted the position of the governorship candidate after Mr Audu died, but the party submitted Mr Bello’s name as the late candidate’s substitute, saying he was next to Late Audu in the election primaries. The party also retained Mr Faleke as the deputy.

The decision of the party angered Mr Faleke and he subsequently disassociated himself from the deputy governor’s position.

He had insisted that he should be declared the winner of the election, a claim he has also approached the Tribunal to push.

The election process took a twist when INEC declared the polls inconclusive, setting a date for a re-run which was held after the APC had substituted its late governorship candidate.

Still not interested in the deputy governor’s position, Mr Faleke filed a petition on Tuesday. He is challenging the decision of INEC in declaring the election of November 21 inclusive.

Yahaya Bello Wins Kogi State Governorship Election

Yahaya-BelloThe candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kogi State governorship election, Mr Yahaya Bello, has been declared the winner of the election.

Mr Bello, who is substitute to late Mr Abubakar Audu, defeated the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada, of the Peoples Democratic Party who was seeking a second term in office.

Declaring the results of the historic election, which was concluded, with a supplementary election held on December 5, the Returning Officer of the electoral body, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, said the APC’s candidate polled 247,752 to defeat Captain Wada who got 204,877 votes.

Collation of the supplementary election results started late Saturday night, with the official of the electoral body giving a breakdown of results from the earlier election held on November 21.

After that election, the electoral body declared the election inconclusive and fixed a supplementary election for December 5.

After election results from the 21 local government areas were collated on Sunday, November 22, the candidate of the APC, late Audu, was leading while the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailed by a margin less than the number of cancelled votes.

The candidate of the APC had 240,867 votes while that of the PDP polled 199,514 votes.

But the election was declared inconclusive by the INEC, which said canceled 49,953 votes were higher than the margin between the leading candidate and the runner-up.

After the supplementary election of December 5, the APC’s candidate got additional 6,885 while the PDP candidate polled 5,363.

The substitution of the late candidate of the APC had triggered divergent views, as to what the Nigerian Constitution and the Electoral  Act proscribe, when the death of a candidate occurs during an electoral process.

Most arguments have focused on section 33 of the Electoral Act.

It reads: “No political party shall be allowed to change or substitute its candidate whose name has been submitted pursuant to section 31 of the Act, except in the case of death or withdrawal by the candidate”.

Aggrieved by the statement of the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami’s, that was legal for the APC to substitute the late candidate, Captain Wada approached a court, questioning the substitution and the power of the INEC to hold the supplementary election. He also requested that he should be declared the winner of the election, since the leading candidate had died.

But the court dismissed the case, saying it lacked jurisdiction. The Federal High Court Abuja further stressed that issues relating to election could only be adjudicated by the Election Petition Tribunal.

The Kogi election is considered historic, as it is the first election that a party will substitute their candidate in the middle of the process.

Kogi Awaits Supplementary Election Results

kogiThe Kogi State supplementary governorship election has ended, with electorates awaiting the results of the exercise.

The election was held in 18 out of 21 local governments in the state, as decided by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after the earlier election of November 21.

Votes cast at some polling units on November 21 in the 18 local government areas were cancelled by INEC for over voting and other related reasons.

Results from at least 10 out of the 18 local governments are ready for collation at the headquarters of the INEC in the state, Channels Television’s correspondent, Lanre Lasisi said.

According to him, the INEC had told reporters it would begin collation of the results from the local governments late Saturday night.

The supplementary election was scheduled after the INEC declared the November 21 election inconclusive.

A Twist To The Process

Kogi election had drawn huge attention after a candidate’s death brought a twist to the process.

After election results from the 21 local government areas were collated on November 22, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), late Abubakar Audu, was leading while the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailed by a margin less than the number of cancelled votes.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress had 240,867 votes while that of the PDP got 199,514 votes.

The commission said 49,953 votes were cancelled, which was higher than the margin between the leading candidate and the runner-up.

Before the election was declared inconclusive, news about the death of the candidate of the APC filtered in. Issues were raised about the provision of the law for the substitution of a candidate who died during an electoral process.

After several days, the INEC asked the APC to substitute its candidate before the date for the supplementary election.

The decision of the INEC was contested by the incumbent governor, who is seeking a second term in office and candidates of other political parties.

But the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, said it was constitutional for the APC to substitute its candidate, citing section 33 of the Electoral Act.

That section reads: “No political party shall be allowed to change or substitute its candidate whose name has been submitted pursuant to section 31 of the Act, except in the case of death or withdrawal by the candidate”.

Suits were filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja by the aggrieved parties, but the court dismissed their suits, saying it lacked jurisdiction. It said that only an election tribunal had the right to adjudicate such cases.

Kogi Election: Wada Files Suit To Stop Substitution Of Candidate

Kogi governorship election Court JusticeThe Governor of Kogi State, Captain Idris Wada, has filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking to stop the substitution of the late governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

In the suit, the Governor is asking the court to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from conducting the proposed supplementary elections with a ‘substitute candidate’ to be fielded by the APC.

In a 15-page originating summon filed by Chris Uche, the Governor and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) want the court to determine the legality or otherwise of the decision of the APC to substitute its candidate.

The APC candidate, late Mr Abubakar Audu, died a day after the November 21 election, few hours before the Kogi governorship election was declared inconclusive by INEC.

The plaintiff is also praying the court to declare as illegal the decision of the APC to substitute its candidate after the governorship candidate of the party died.

In the alternative, the plaintiff is asking the court to order a fresh governorship election within a specified period.

The INEC had said that the APC would be required to fill the vacancy created by the death of its candidate before it would organise the supplementary election on December 5.

Also giving his view about the next action after the election was declared inconclusive, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, said that the APC could substitute its candidate in the Kogi State governorship election.

Mr Malami said section 33 of the Electoral Act provided for such substitution.

On Tuesday, the PDP kicked against Mr Malami’s statement, saying it was unlawful and an attack on Nigeria’s democracy.

The party also asked the INEC to declare the incumbent governor and its candidate the winner of the election.

Nigerian Lawyers have given divers views about the substitution of the candidate, with some saying that section 33 of the Electoral Act gives a political party the right to substitute its candidate in the middle of an election if the candidate dies or withdraws.

Others have spoken against the substitution of candidate, citing section 36 of the same Act which says substitution will only be made when the election has been concluded or before voting begins and not within the process.

APC Can Substitute Audu In Kogi Supplementary Elections – Attorney General

Abubakar-MalamiThe Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) could substitute its candidate in the Kogi State governorship election, who died a day after the November 21 election.

Mr Malami said section 33 of the Electoral Act provided for such substitution.

At a seminar in Abuja on Tuesday, organised by the Nigerian Law Reform Commission on the reform of the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (establishment) Act‎, the Attorney General said the Kogi election had to be concluded.

He explained that section 221 of the constitution was clear that the votes that were cast were cast in favour of the APC.

Mr Malami said since the primary election conducted by the APC prior to the governorship election was still valid, the candidate that came second may have to be considered as replacement.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission has scheduled the supplementary election in 91 polling units where elections were cancelled to hold on December 5.

Mr Audu died on Sunday, a day after the governorship election.

After election results from the 21 local government areas were collated on Sunday, the APC’ candidate, Mr Audu, was leading while the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailed by a margin less than the number of cancelled votes.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress had 240,867 votes while that of the PDP got 199,514 votes.

The commission said 49,953 votes were canceled, which was higher than the margin between the leading candidate and the runner-up. It then declared the election inconclusive.

 

INEC Declares Kogi Governorship Election Inconclusive

Kogi governorship election The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the Kogi State governorship election inconclusive.

Declaring the results of the election, the Returning Officer, Professor Emmanuel Kucha, said the electoral body’s decision was reached after collation of results showed a number of cancelled votes that was higher than the margin between the leading candidate and the runner-up.

After election results from the 21 local government areas were collated on Sunday, the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Abubakar Audu, was leading while the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) trailed by a margin less than the number of cancelled votes.

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress had 240,867 votes while that of the PDP got 199,514 votes.

Kogi-State-2015-Governorship-Election-results
Click image to view detailed election results

The commission said 49,953 votes were canceled, which was higher than the margin between the leading candidate and the runner-up.

No date was fixed by INEC for a supplementary election in Kogi State.

The Kogi governorship election is the first election that the new leadership of the INEC is conducting.

It is also the first election under the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC, after the ruling party won the March 28 Presidential election, taking power from the Peoples Democratic Party that had ruled the Nigeria for 16 years.

Earlier, observers monitoring the governorship election in Kogi State called on political parties to ensure their supporters and members remain calm as collation of election results continue in Kogi State.

A human rights lawyer, Onyeisi Chiemeka, also told Channels Television that the polls appeared to have been free and fair although there were some challenges recorded by INEC especially with logistics.

 

Kogi Polls: Accreditation Ends, Voting Begins

Kogi Polls: Accreditation Ends, Voting BeginsVoting has commenced in the ongoing Kogi State governorship election following accreditation of voters which ended a while ago.

Channels Television’s correspondents covering the elections said that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) officials and materials arrived at most polling units at a little after 7:00am while voters began the accreditation exercise as early as 8:30am.

All accredited voters will get the opportunity to choose from the 22 candidates cleared by INEC to contest in the election.

There is heavy security presence in the state with the Police leading with 15,000 men on ground.

INEC has also assured residents of a hitch-free and credible poll.

Turnout of voters is said to be impressive in quite a number of polling centres in the state while card readers reportedly malfunctioned in some polling units.

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Solomon Arase, however, appealed to the general public, especially travellers plying through Kogi State, that the partial restriction of vehicular movement between 06:00hrs to 18:00hrs on election day was informed by the exigencies of overriding security considerations and to forestall tactics by miscreants to undermine the electoral process.

Twenty-two candidates will be contesting on the platform of their different registered political parties.

Some of the top contenders in the Kogi governorship race include the incumbent and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Captain Idris Wada, who will be in a tough race with a former Governor and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar Audu.

Philips Salawu, a former Deputy Governor to the immediate past Governor of the state, Ibrahim Idris, is the candidate of the Labour Party.

Over 1.3 million voters are expected to participate in the exercise.

INEC Releases Names Of Candidates For Kogi, Bayelsa Elections

Permanent_Voters_Cards_CollectionThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has made public all the governorship candidates and their running mates for the Kogi and Bayelsa elections.

The electoral commission on Monday declared that 22 candidates would be contesting in Kogi State while 20 have been confirmed for Bayelsa State on the platform of their different registered political parties

The Kogi State election is slated for 21 November while Bayelsa election is scheduled for 5 December, 2015.

Some of the top contenders in the Kogi governorship race include the incumbent and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Captain Idris Wada, who will be in a tough race with a former Governor and the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar Audu.

Philips Salawu, a former Deputy Governor to the immediate past Governor of the state, Ibrahim Idris, is the candidate of the Labour Party.

In Bayelsa State, the incumbent Governor, Seriake Dickson, will fly the PDP flag, while a former Governor, Timipre Sylva, is the APC flag bearer and Moses Siasia of the PDM are top contenders in the race.

Kogi Governorship Election: PDP Reacts To Postponement Of Primaries

pdp-kogiStakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Kogi State have resolved to work assiduously to ensure the emergence of Captain Idris Wada as the party’s flag bearer in the governorship election.

This follows the postponement of the primaries that was earlier scheduled to hold on Thursday September 10, but was shifted till Monday September 14 by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in Abuja, for logistic reasons.

At an emergency stakeholders meeting held at the Government House in Lokoja, Governor  Wada appealed to them to be calm and law abiding, with a promise to resolve all the issues with the NWC.

Delegates, stakeholders and party loyalist from all the 21 Local Government Area of the state were present at the meeting where they said their coming to the Government House was to make known their grievances.

Meanwhile, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has assured residents of the state that the governorship election would be free, fair and credible.

The electoral body has scheduled the governorship election to hold on November 21, 2015.