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.

Tribunal Dismisses Wada’s Petition Against Yahaya Bello’s Election As Kogi Governor

Wada, Yahaya BelloThe Kogi State governorship election tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by Captain Idris Wada challenging the election of Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State.

Justice Halima Mohammed dismissed the petition for being incompetent.

The Tribunal held that Captain Wada never participated in the primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and so lacked the locus standi to challenge the nomination of Mr Bello.

Captain Wada contested in the Kogi State governorship election under the umbrella of the Peoples Democratic Party.

Wada had asked the tribunal to declare him winner of the Kogi State governorship election.

He argued 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.

Although the lawyer to Governor Bello applauded the verdict of the court, lawyer to Mr Wada announced his intention to appeal the judgment.

Kogi Governorship Tribunal: Wada’s Petition Hearing Stalled

KogiHearing in the petition filed by the former Governor of Kogi State challenging the election of Governor Yahaya Bello has been stalled following objections by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Governor.

At the proceedings on Tuesday, lawyers to Mr Idris Wada informed the Tribunal of their intention to present some documents which include ballot papers and result sheets used for the election.

The request was, however, opposed by the lawyers representing the APC and Governor Bello on the ground that the documents needed to be scrutinised.

With the objections upheld by the Chairman of the Tribunal, the petitioners were given time to perfect the presentation of the said documents.

Lawyers to the APC and Governor Bello insisted that the documents were not properly presented before the Tribunal.

Hearing of the petition has been fixed for April 11.

Residents Of Anambra And Kogi Clash Over Ibaji Oil Well

Ordinarily, oil is a resource that ought to bring joy, judging by the income it generates. However that is not the case with some communities in Anambra and Kogi states as it has resulted in rancour, kidnappings and deaths.

Several people have been reported missing in a renewed row over the ownership of the Ibaji oil well.

Delegates from the two states in a meeting with the Governor of Kogi state, Mr Idris Wada have been discussing ways to resolve this problem.

Emergency works to commence on flooded Lokoja-Abuja highway

The Federal Ministry of Works will begin emergency work that will lead to the opening of the flooded Lokoja- Abuja highway.

This follows a directive by President Goodluck Jonathan to the Ministers of Works, Environment and Water resources to visit Kogi state and assess the impact of damage caused by flooding in the state.

The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen gave the assurance of efforts to open up the highway, while the Environment Minister, Hadiza Mailafia, commended the state government and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for efforts to reduce the effects of the flood.

Describing the flooding as a national disaster and a ‘force majure’, Mr Onolememen noted that the level of water seen in the past two weeks has not been seen in the last 100 years with a resultant increase of 2metres in the water level of the affected areas.

Receiving the delegation of Ministers, the Kogi State governor, Mr Idris Wada, lamented that the flooding is “drawing back the development of the state.”

Also speaking, the Minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafia decried the settlement of people along the flood plains which she claimed were observed from aerial view. She enjoined state and local governments to desist from allowing people settle on flood plains.

Meanwhile the chairman of the House Committee on Climate Change has condemned the federal government’s handling of the flooding that has devastated several states in the country.

Mr. Eziuche Ubani said the nation needs to take concrete steps to address what is clearly an increasing manifestation of climate change.

He called for the setting up of a Climate Change Commission to coordinate government’s effort on the phenomenon.

The Senate President has also called for a collaborative effort by all government ministries and agencies, noting that apparent failure to tackling the flood has revealed the nation’s unpreparedness.

He also noted that “asking ministers to visit Kogi will not address the problem” he added in reference to an order from the President to some ministers to visit the state for an on the spot assessment of the flood disaster.

Meanwhile the Senate Committee on Environment visited Kogi state in the early hours of Tuesday to see things for themselves.