Tribunal Affirms Election Of Yahaya Bello As Kogi Governor

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.
A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.


The Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the election of incumbent Governor, Yahaya Bello.

The petition had been filed by Mr Musa Wada, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 election.

In a judgment of two to one, delivered by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, on Saturday, the tribunal held that the petitioner failed to prove the allegations of over-voting, massive thumb printing, voter intimidation, and other electoral malpractices.

The tribunal also awarded a cost of one million naira to be paid by the petitioners, PDP and Musa Wada to INEC, Yahaya Bello and APC who are the respondents.

In a dissenting judgment, Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele nullified the election of Governor Yahaya Bello and ordered INEC to conduct fresh elections in seven local government areas where the petitioners proved their allegations of over-voting, thuggery, voter intimidation, massive thumb printing, and other electoral malpractices.


Kogi Governor Proposes A Budget Of 174b Naira For 2017

yahaya-belloKogi State Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello, has presented a budget of 174.851 billion Naira for 2017 fiscal year to the State House of Assembly in Lokoja, the state’s capital, for approval.

The Appropriation Bill tagged “Budget of New Direction” is aimed at addressing the problem of infrastructural development in the state, the Governor said while addressing the House.

Governor Bello had walked into the hallow chamber of the newly renovated Kogi State House of Assembly where lawmakers were already seated waiting.

The governor was accompanied by some of his aides at the presentation, the first since he assumed office in January 27 2015 as the 4th executive governor the state.

While presenting the budget estimate, Governor Bello stated that it was prepared in line with the domesticated national chart of account, medium term expenditure frame work/multi-year budget framework which outlines key initiatives, assumption and what was expected to be achieved by the key spending Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in the state.

”We have budgeted a total estimate recurrent revenue of 81.666 billion Naira, consisting of 32.181 billion Naira from internal sources, 35.309 billion Naira as states’ share from the Federation Account, 8.085 billion Naira revenue from Value Added Tax (VAT) 2.209 billion Naira will come from exchange differentials and 3.880 billion Naira from budget augmentation.

The governor said “the total budget outlay of 174.851 billion Naira estimate is divided into recurrent expenditure of 58.531 billion Naira representing 33.47% and capital expenditure of 166.320 billion Naira representing 66.53%”.

Fund available for recurrent expenditure in year 2017 stands at 81.666 billion Naira while estimated personnel cost for the period is 32.734 billion Naira. 25.797 billion Naira is overhead cost, giving total recurrent expenditure for the year 2017 to be 58.531 billion Naira.

Governor Bello noted that the implementation of the budget would accelerate the rate at which the state could build physical infrastructure and develop human capital in the state and deploy them.

according to him, the budget is designed to stimulate with equal importance including agriculture, water resources, environment, housing and support from women and youth empowerment.

The budget is an increase of 74.85% from the 99.998 billion Naira budgeted in 2016 out of which the current revenue was 63.127 billion Naira and capital receipt was 36.870 billion Naira.

Kogi Governor Threatens To Sack Deviant Commissioners

lokoja, supreme court judgement, bello,The Governor of Kogi State, Mr Yahaya Bello, has threatened to sack any commissioner who is not in tune with his administration’s new direction agenda to move the state forward.

Governor Bello gave the warning while addressing reporters after an unscheduled visit to the Government Day Secondary School, Adankolo in the state’s capital, Lokoja.

The governor, who was at the school for an on-the-spot assessment, said it was deplorable for any commissioner not to be abreast of the challenges confronting their various ministries and agencies

Governor Bello and the commissioners were supposed to have an emergency council meeting, but Mr Bello came in later and asked them to accompany him somewhere for a visit.

The convoy went through some routes which made it difficult for anyone to guess where the governor was going, before they finally arrived at the Government Day Secondary School amidst cheers from the students who immediately noticed it was the governor.

It was, however, a shock for the management who never expected him.

Arriving at the school, Governor Bello walked straight to the principal’s office.

The principal, Momoh Umoru, wasted no time in telling him some of the problems the school is encountering at the moment. The picture painted by the principal did not, however, go down well with Governor Bello who sounded tough to his Commissioner for Education, Mr Sunday Tolorunleke.

After talks with the principal the governor went to the accountant’s office to see how funds given to the school is spent.

He, thereafter, met with all the staff, telling them his intention on the visit. The governor also promised to pay all outstanding salaries before December ending.

Some of the teachers reacted to the visit which they said was first of its kind since the school was established in 1983.

Osang Moses, who hails from Cross River State but served under the National Youth Service Scheme in Government Day Secondary School in 2011/2012, was given an automatic employment by the governor.

After the inspection, Governor Bello sounded a warning to members of his aides, saying he would sack anyone who does not conform with the policies of the government aimed at making the state better.

Expert said the visit was timely and hailed his decision to sack commissioners who are found of seating in the office.

Kogi Prison Break: 6 Of 13 Inmates From Koton Karfe Rearrested

Prison Break, Kogi Prison6 out of the 13 inmates that escaped from the Koton Karfe Prisons were on Sunday re-arrested and are back in custody.

This was announced by the Director Press, Ministry of Interior, Mr Willie Bassey.

Earlier, the Kogi State Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello has raised an alert about an alleged threat to the state following a prison break in Koton Karfe.

prison break had occurred at the Koton Karfe Medium Security Prison in Kogi State on Saturday, where about 13 inmates are said to have broken their cells and escaped through the fence.

Three of the 13 are convicts.

The inmates at the new prison site broke the wall of the perimeter fence and escaped into the bush.

This is the third time inmates have successfully broken out of this facility raising concerns on the level of security within the premises.

Kogi State House Of Assembly Resolves Crisis

Kogi State House of Assembly Warring factions in the Kogi State House of Assembly reconciled on Friday to ensure lasting peace among them and end four months of disagreement.

The House has been in the lingering crisis that erupted early in February this year which resulted to two factions – the Momoh Jimoh and the Imam.

Trouble started after some members of the house impeached Mr Jimoh in February, resulting to G5 and G10 factions.

The reconciliation meeting was not an easy one, but it was achieved after the State Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello, set up an 11-man reconciliation committee headed by Mr John Oladele.

Both factions were called on Thursday into a roundtable discussion that lasted for over two hours held to broker peace between them at the Government House, Lokoja, the capital of the State.

But they, however, could not resolved their differences.

The Kogi House of Assembly members also reconvened on Friday for the reconciliation meeting which was held in closed-door.

The meeting ended after about four hours of deliberations.

Addressing reporters shortly after the reconciliation meeting, Governor Bello stated that as the leader of them all it was his duty to reconcile them.

Also speaking on behalf of the G5, which later became G10, Honourable Friday Sanni said all suspension on the former G15 members remained null and void, as they were now united.

Another House member, Honourable Kolawole, spoke on behalf of the G15 lawmakers on the successes of the reconciliation meeting.

He said they had finally found a lasting solution to the crisis, noting that all the court cases against the other faction would be withdrawn.

The members said when the Assembly reconvened they would sit down and jointly elect a leader who would pilot the House of Assembly.

Special Military Squad To Tackle Kidnapping In Kogi State

military squad to kogi stateThe Nigerian government will deploy a special military squad to Kogi State to tackle kidnapping and other related crimes that have bedeviled the state in recent times, a military official said on Tuesday.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, informed the Governor of the State, Mr Yahaya Bello, of the planned deployment during a meeting with him at the State’s capital, Lokoja.

He said that the Federal Government was worried over the increase in kidnapping and other related crimes and was ready to curb the situation.

The Army Chief was in the state with some of his men on a working visit to the military formation to see the challenges facing them and proffer a solution to enable them carry on with their constitutional responsibility of ensuring internal security.

The Army General in his speech first commended Governor Bello for providing logistics and other necessary support to security agencies in the state and promised that a special squared of military personnel would be in the state soon to curb the activities of the kidnappers.

On his part, Governor Bello requested for more help from the Federal Government, saying that he had initiated ‘Operation Know Your Neighbor’ in the state to further check the activities of criminals.

He stressed that any new face found within the neighbourhood must be reported.

Governor Bello further told the Army Chief that the state would soon accommodate a death sentence in its law for any kidnapper caught.

At the end of the meeting, General Buratai told reporters that the military had educated its men to stay off politics and face what they were trained to do, ensuring that there was internal security.

If words are marched with action, the people of Kogi State and travelers will feel safe within the state that has recorded several kidnap cases in the last few weeks.

Kogi Governor Declares War Against Kidnappers

kidnapped clergiesKogi State Governor, Mr Yahaya Bello, has declared a total war on the kidnappers and cultists that have laid siege on the state.

The Governor’s decision was contained in a statement on Sunday by his Special Adviser on Media and Strategy, Mr Abdulkarim Abdullahi.

The Governor’s declaration followed the abduction of the traditional ruler of Elete community, Aminu Ahmed Aku, in Ajaokuta Local Government Area of the state in northern Nigeria by yet to be identified persons.

Receiving the sad news like others in recent times, he decried the incident which was on the increase even though his efforts to reduce crime rate in the state from what it was before he was inaugurated have been yielding positive result.

Governor Bello vowed to ensure that those behind the recent immoral acts were fished out and made to face the full weight of the law.

He said the kidnap of the monarch ranked among the high profile cases of such acts in a very short time.

The statement further stated that the Governor had donated 12 operational vehicles to the law enforcement agencies in the state to combat crimes while he urged them to step up action by embarking on aggressive man hunt on criminals in the state who have constituted themselves as a threat to lives through kidnapping.

Meanwhile, some kidnap cases were recorded in Kogi State in the last few months in which some victims are still under the custody of the kidnappers who are demanding for ransom before they are released.

Governor Bello To Implement Staff Screening Committee’s Recommendations

Yahaya-BelloKogi State Governor Mr Yahaya Bello has promised to implement the report and recommendations of the state Staff Screening Committee to the letter for the betterment of the state.

Governor Bello made the promise on Saturday when he met with members of Staff Screening Committee at the Government House in Lokoja.

He explained that the implementation of the final report would be recommended in sequence.

The Screening Committee members were inaugurated on February 22, with a mandate to ascertain the actual figure of the state’s workforce and also stamp out ghost workers in Kogi State Civil Service.

This meeting was also held to settle some disagreements between the labour members among the committee and the chairman.

Before going into a closed-door meeting the Governor in his speech made it clear that the state government was already waiting for the report, which he stressed must be with the government in the next one week.

He told the gathering that a bailout fund of 20 billion Naira from the Federal Government was already in the State government’s account for payment to the genuine civil servants, but that he would need the report before payments would be made.

The closed-door meeting lasted for two hours, and at the end, the Governor said the disagreement had been resolved.

During the screening, labour unions had raised issues with some aspects of the form that sought their decision on their membership of any union.

On the disagreement and the issues involved, the chairman of the Staff Screening Committee, retired Brigadier General Paul Okutimo, said that labour could not go along with the progressive ideas of the government when it is taking the interest of its members into consideration.

The Chairman of the Trade Union Congress, Mr Ranti Mathew, also explained that certain parts of the exercise were not too clear to the labour unions and that they needed to raise alarm for clarity.

Kogi State Governor Signs 2016 Appropriation Bill

Yahaya-Bello of Kogi StateThe Governor of Kogi State, Mr Yahaya Bello, has signed the 2016 appropriation bill of 99.9 billion Naira into law, tagging it a ‘budget of change’.

The Governor, who signed the bill on Monday, in the Government House in Lokoja, the state’s capital, said he would be guided by the law.

At the Governor’s office to witness the signing of the bill were the Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba, the Secretary to the State Government, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, and some of the governor’s aids.

Before he signed the budget, Mr Yahaya explained that the State House of Assembly had worked harmoniously with the executive to pass the 2016 budget.

He noted that the budget had a capital expenditure of 141.8 billion Naira.

After the bill had been signed, the Speaker of the Kogi State House of Assembly, Ahmed Imam, said the passage was just the beginning of good things to happen in Kogi State.

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 Election: Faleke Drags INEC, APC To Court

Kogi Poll: Faleke Drags INEC, APC To CourtThe running mate of the late candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Kogi governorship election, Mr James Faleke, has sued the INEC and his party a day after the late candidate was substituted. 

Mr Faleke’s suit is consequent to the replacement of the late Abubakar Audu with  Mr Yahaya Bello on Monday, retaining Mr Faleke as the new governorship candidate’s deputy.

After the November 21 election, the electoral body, the next day,  declared the election inconclusive, saying that the margin between late Audu, leading in the election, and the candidate of the Peoples Democracy Party, who is the incumbent Governor, Captain Idris Wada, was less  than the number of cancelled votes.

The Independent National Electoral Commission had asked the APC to substitute its late candidate before the supplementary election slated for December 5.

After the APC chose Mr Bello as late Audu’s substitute on Monday, Mr Faleke expressed his displeasure with the choice saying he would go to court.

Falake’s Suit

On Tuesday Mr Faleke filed a separate suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the registry of Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The matter is yet to be assigned to any judge.

Mr Faleke is asking the court to declare him the Governor-elect of Kogi State based on the outcome of the election.

In the suit filed by his counsel, Mr Wole Olanipekun, Faleke prayed the court to declare that election into the office of the governor of a state could only be conducted in the manner expressly stipulated in sections 179(2) (a), (b), (3) (a), (b), 4 (a), (b) and (5) of the constitution.

He also asked the court to grant an order setting aside INEC’s decision that the governorship election held in Kogi State on November 21, 2015 was inconclusive and the public notice dated November 24, 2015 titled ‘Kogi Governorship Election 2015’.

He requested an order of court mandating INEC to make a return, following the already announced results in the election.

In addition, Faleke also wants the court to grant an order of injunction restraining the INEC and APC from giving effect to or further acting on the decisions of INEC contained in its public notice.