Reactions have continued to trail the judgment of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which dismissed a petition filed by Mr James Faleke, challenging the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State.
Addressing a news conference in Abuja on Monday after the Tribunal’s verdict, Mr James Faleke announced plans to appeal the judgment.
He said: “One thing I can say is that the judges have delivered their own judgment.
“I am going to consult my own lawyers and I am very certain that we will appeal the judgment.
“I think that there are certain sections of the judgment that I have seen on the Tv.
“I am not a lawyer, but I believe it is not in tune with our constitution.
“That I don’t have locus standi, is very interesting.
“It is interesting to say that a candidate that is empowered by the constitution does not have a locus standi,” Mr Faleke stated.
He said the Tribunal erred in law by dismissing his petition without examining the whole merit of his case.
“The judgment said that the party had the right to choose a candidate, but only limited to a period before the election.
“If it is before the election, which of the elections are they referring to?” he questioned.
Mr Faleke further pointed out that the judges did not look at the main subject of his petition.
He was the running mate of Mr Abubakar Audu, the initial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the Kogi State governorship election.
Mr Audu was leading in the election before he died a day after the election was held.
He was, however, replaced with My Yahaya Bello, a decision that Mr Faleke strongly opposed, refusing to be the running mate of Mr Bello.
After Mr bello was sworn in as Governor, he filed a petition, claiming he was the right candidate to take over late Audu’s position.
Victory For Democracy
Meanwhile, Governor Bello, shortly after the declaration by the Tribunal, described his victory as divine and a victory for democracy and the people in the state.
He further told the political class in the state to join hands with him in building a virile state that would match other states.
The Governor also said that the victory was not a surprise, as it was destined by God.
“It is significant, as it came on the first day of Ramadan.
“Well, everybody has the right. Just like he has the right to go on the Tribunal, he has the right to go and appeal up to Supreme Court level.
“But I am only extending my hands of fellowship to him to come over. There is a lot to be done, both in the state and the National Assembly, instead of washing our dirty linen in the public,” Governor Bello reiterated.