Supreme Court Gives Reasons For Judgement On Kogi Governorship Tussle

Supreme Court, Kogi GovernorshipThe Supreme Court has given reasons why it upheld the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Governor of Kogi State.

The Court held that Mr‎ James Faleke, the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2015 governorship election cannot be declared winner of the poll having failed to participate in the primary elections of the All Progressives Congress.

The apex court, among others, said that Faleke, whose joint ticket with the governorship candidate of the party, late Prince Abubakar Audu, had garnered 240,873 votes before Audu died, cannot benefit from the vote or take the place of Audu, because he did not meet the condition precedent.

In the reasons, advanced for the summary judgment, delivered on September 20, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, held that Faleke did not obtain nomination form, did not participate in the primary election and as such, cannot under any circumstances, be made the governorship candidate to replace Audu.

Besides, Justice Kekere-Ekun said that before the sudden death of Audu, after the November 21 governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had already declared the election inconclusive and that since the election, had not been completed and the final result issued by the electoral body, Faleke, as a running mate, cannot claim ‎victory in the election.

The apex court upheld the substitution of Yahaya Bello to replace Audu because in the face of the law, Bello obtained nomination form, took part in the primary election and came second, unlike Faleke who did not meet that condition.

Faleke’s Argument

Mr James Faleke of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had challenged the decision of the Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal which upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the validly elected governor.

Mr James Falake was the deputy governorship candidate to late Abubakar Audu who died before the conclusion of the governorship election that was to see him elected as governor.

Yahaya Bello was then presented by the party, All Progressives Congress (APC) as replacement for Audu, a decision Mr Faleke challenged, arguing that he should have stepped into the position, having together with the late Audu gone through the election process.

He approached the Supreme Court after being dissatisfied with the judgement of the election tribunal and Appeal Court which both upheld Yahaya’s eligibility.

There had been four appeals against the Court of Appeal rulings with the Supreme Court expected to decide if Mr Bello should continue as Kogi governor or vacate office.

One of the appeals was by the immediate past governor of the state and candidate of the opposition PDP, Idris Wada.

The Supreme Court went ahead to uphold the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Governor of Kogi State.

 

Kogi Governorship: Bello Calls Victory “Act Of God”

Kogi, Yahaya Bello, Supreme CourtKogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has described his victory at the Supreme Court as an act of God, saying it shows that Nigeria honours democracy.

Governor Bello made the declaration in statement on Tuesday by his spokesman, Mr Kingsley Fanwon, after the judgement.

He said his victory at the Supreme Court was a big honour to democracy.

The Governor dedicated the victory to the people of Kogi State who believed in transforming the state from potentially great state to a really great state.

However, he warned his supporters against unbridled celebration, saying the moment was a challenge to the state’s residents to reflect on how to make the state great.

Governor Bello pledged to continue to pursue his cardinal goals of improving education, reinventing healthcare, boosting infrastructural development and raising the capacity of the state’s citizens to reinvigorate the economy.

He thanked the judiciary for raising to the occasion and standing firm with what he said was true and just.

Supreme Court Ruling

Earlier on Tuesday, the Supreme Court upheld the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Governor of Kogi State.

A seven-man panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata affirmed the election after listening to the closing statements of all the counsel.

The court also said it would provide reasons for its decision on September 30.

In a swift reaction, the immediate past Governor of Kogi State, Mr Idris Wada, said he was yet to study the judgement.

Mr Wada, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Mr Jacob Edi, noted that he cannot make any comment until a copy of the Supreme Court judgement was made available to him.

Supreme Court Upholds Yahaya Bello’s Election As Kogi Governor

Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court has upheld the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the duly elected Governor of Kogi State.

The seven-man panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata affirmed the election after listening to the closing statements of all the counsel.

The court also said it would provide reasons for its decision on September 30.

There had been four appeals against the Court of Appeal rulings with the Supreme Court expected to decide if Mr Bello should continue as Kogi governor or vacate office.

One of the appeals was by the immediate past governor of the state and candidate of the opposition PDP, Idris Wada, while another was by Mr James Faleke who was the deputy governorship candidate to late Abubakar Audu.

Mr James Faleke of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had challenged the decision of the Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal which upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the validly elected governor.

Mr James Falake was the deputy governorship candidate to late Abubakar Audu who died before the conclusion of the governorship election that was to see him elected as governor.

Yahaya Bello was then presented by the party, All Progressives Congress (APC) as replacement for Audu, a decision Mr Faleke challenged, arguing that he should have stepped into the position, having together with the late Audu gone through the election process.

He approached the Supreme Court after being dissatisfied with the judgement of the election tribunal and Appeal Court which both upheld Yahaya’s eligibility.

Law and Order

It is expected that Kogi State would be peaceful in spite of the judgment which would be met with different reactions by parties involved.

The Kogi State Police Command had warned that it would deal decisively, in accordance of the law, with anyone caught taking laws into his hands, as the Supreme Court delivers its judgment.

The State Police Commissioner, Abdullahi Chafi, gave the warning while addressing newsmen at his office on Friday.

The CP further stressed that intelligent report reaching the command revealed that some miscreants were planning to create crisis before, during and after the Supreme Court judgement.

While warning parents to caution their wards, political party heads and their supporters, he said that his command was fully ready to deal with whoever disobeys the law.

He also placed a ban on any kind of public celebration by anybody or groups after the court judgement.

Appeal Court Dismisses Faleke’s Appeal Against Yahaya Bello’s Election

James Faleke, Yahaya Bello, APC, Kogi State, Appeal Court
Mr James Faleke

The Court of Appeal  sitting in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by Mr James Faleke, challenging the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as Kogi State Governor.

The 5-man panel of the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja ruled that Faleke’s case lacks merit.

The appellate court had earlier reserved the judgment after hearing submission from all parties involved in the matter.

Counsel for Faleke, Akin Olujimi, had urged the Appeal Court to set aside the decision of the Kogi election tribunal and invalidate the election of Yahaya Bello on the ground that Bello was not properly nominated.

He submitted that Bello did not undergo all the electioneering processes as required by law before he emerged as his party’s candidate in the re-run election.

Yahaya Bello
Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello

In his own submission, Joseph Daodu, who is counsel for Governor Bello, insisted that the issue of nomination of candidates for election was the sole responsibility of a political party.

Daodu submitted that Governor Bello, having been nominated by the APC in compliance with the existing law and authority of the party remained the candidate of his party in the election.

Counsel for INEC, Ahmed Raji, asked the court to uphold the election of Yahaya Bello on the ground that he was properly nominated by APC as a replacement to Abubakar Audu who passed away during the election.

The Tribunal

Mr James Faleke ran as deputy governorship candidate with Mr. Audu. It looked as though they were coasting to victory before Mr. Audu suddenly died.


INEC declared the election inconclusive and asked the APC to nominate a replacement for the deceased. Mr. Yahaya Bello was nominated and he nominated Mr. Faleke as his deputy, an offer the latter refused.

A three-man tribunal led by Justice Halima Mohammed, on June 6, held that Faleke lacked locus standi to challenge Bello’s election having never been sponsored by his party, the APC, as a governorship candidate in both the November 21, 2015 election and the December 6, 2015 supplementary poll.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Halima Mohammed, who read the judgment in the petition filed by Mr Faleke, threw away the petition for lacking in merit.

She said the fact that INEC declared the election of November 21, 2015 inconclusive meant no governor or deputy governor-elect emerged, and Mr Faleke therefore had no basis to challenge the nomination of Mr Bello to replace the late Mr Audu.

 

Appeal Court Reserves Judgment on Kogi Election Petition

Appeal Court, kogi electionAppeal court Abuja division has reserved judgement in Kogi governorship legal tussle till a date to be communicated to parties.

The appellate court reserved the judgment after hearing submission from all parties involved in the matter.

The appeals were filed by James Faleke of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) challenging the decision of the Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal which upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the validly elected governor.

Counsel for Faleke, Akin Olujimi, urged the Appeal Court to set aside the decision of the tribunal and invalidate the election of Yahaya Bello on the ground that Bello was not properly nominated.

He submitted that Bello did not undergo all the electioneering processes as required by law before he emerged as his party’s candidate in re-run election.

In his own submission, Joseph Daodu, who is counsel for Governor Bello, insisted that the issue of nomination of candidates for election was the sole responsibility of a political party.

Daodu submitted that Governor Bello, having been nominated by the APC in compliance with the existing law and authority of the party remained the candidate of his party in the election.

While counsel for INEC, Ahmed Raji, asked the court to uphold the election of Yahaya Bello on the ground that he was properly nominated by APC as a replacement to Abubakar Audu who passed away during the election.

Justice Hannatu Sankey, who presided over the sitting announced that the date for judgment would be communicated to parties in the matter.

Kogi Election: Faleke Files Petition At Tribunal

falekeThe running mate of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21 governorship election in Kogi State, Honourable James Faleke, has filed a petition at the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

Mr Faleke is challenging the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in declaring the election inclusive.

He was the running mate to late Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC gubernatorial candidate, who died a day after the election few hours before it was declared inconclusive.

At the Tribunal, Mr Faleke came in company of Mohammed Audu, the son of the late Mr Audu, other party stalwarts as well as his lawyers.

Hundreds of the APC party supporters also thronged the premises of the Tribunal in support for Honourable Faleke,

Addressing reporters after filing his petition, he pointed out that the petition dragged INEC before the Tribunal to challenge its decision in declaring the election inconclusive since the election by all standards was concluded and won by the APC candidates, Audu and Faleke.

While the son of late Mr Audu restated his support for Faleke, he said the decision to approach the Tribunal was in line with that of the elders.

Tribunal Reserves Ruling On Rivers Governorship Election

Tribunal Reserves Ruling On Rivers Governorship ElectionThe Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja to dismiss the petition filed by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its governorship candidate, Mr Dakuku Peterside, on the ground that it lacks merit and substance.

The Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, also called on the tribunal to dismiss the petition, saying the petitioner failed to prove the several allegations against his election on April 11, 2015.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Suleiman Ambrosa, after listening to the adoption of written addresses by counsels to the petitioners and the defendants adjourned the petition for judgment.

The defendants, Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) and Ifedayo Adedipe (SAN), while adopting their written addresses, claimed that the burden of proof rests on the petitioner who failed to discharge same before the tribunal.

The petitioner, Akin Olujimi (SAN), however, asked the tribunal to grant the reliefs sought in their petition, saying they have successfully proved their case.

With the adoption of written addresses by all the parties, the tribunal reserved judgment to a date to be announced to all the parties.

Tribunal Upholds El-Rufai’s Victory As Kaduna State Governor

el-rufaiThe Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kaduna State has upheld the election of Nasir El-Rufai of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the elected Governor of the state.

The All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) candidate in the April 11 Governorship election, Polycarp Gankon, had on May 28, 2015 approached the tribunal, asking it to set aside the election because of non-compliance of the Electoral Act, exclusion of his party from form EC8 in several polling units and wards in seven Local Government Councils of the state.

The petitioner also alleged that there was massive ballot box stuffing and exaggerated results by the APC during the election, thereby asking the three-man tribunal to nullify the election in the affected local councils.

But in an unanimous judgement that lasted for six hours, Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice Adebayo Adebara, held that the petitioner had not mustered enough evidence to prove his allegations of electoral malpractice and irregularity.

He said that the allegations of exclusion of of the petitioner’s party name and logo in form EC8 during the election, as well as falsification of results, were criminal in nature and needed to be proved beyond all reasonable doubt.

The Chairman noted that the petitioner had failed to provide enough proof that would warrant the granting of his prayers to nullify the election based on the mere fact that his party’s name and logo were excluded from the Form EC8 and allegations of exaggerated results.

Though the tribunal didn’t grant the APGA candidate’s plea to nullify the election because of non compliance, exclusion and falsification of election results, as well as order a re-run, it canceled results in some wards of the seven Local Governments.

However, after canceling results of APC in the affected wards of the LGAs, Justice Adebara declared El-Rufai the winner of the April governorship election.

In his reaction after the verdict, Counsel to the petitioner, Olumiyiwa Olowokure, said he would consult with his client to decide on the next line of action.

He however noted that some of the issues raised in the judgement are appealable, adding that the judegment is just the first step.

The Counsel to Governor El-Rufai, Omokayode Dada, hailed the verdict, describing it as fair.

Governor Nasir El-Rufai, who was represented at the court by Secretary to Kaduna State Government, Balarabe Lawal, described the judgement as victory to democracy and rule of law, adding that the judgement has therefore proved that the the people of the state actually voted for the APC during the election.