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.

Governor Bello Names Kogi State University After Abubakar Audu

Yahaya Bello, Kogi, ProjectsGovernor Yahaya Bello has named the Kogi State University after Abubakar Audu, the late initial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the State’s governorship election of 2015.

Governor Bello renamed the university  “Prince Abubakar Audu University” in a broadcast on Friday to the people of the state at his office in Lokoja, the Kogi State’s capital in northern Nigeria.

He said the announcement was made as a mark of honour to immortalise the name of late Audu who died in November 2015, a day after the election which was later declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Late Audu was leading in the election.

After his death, he was substituted with Mr Bello who later won the election.
Abubakar-Audu

No Victor, No Vanquish
Governor Bello’s victory was contested by the running mate of late Audu, Mr James Faleke, who said he was the candidate in line to take over from late Audu.

But an election Tribunal dismissed his petition.

In his address on Friday, Governor Bello described the judgement of the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal as ‘no victor, no vanquish’.

He appealed to all the parties in the dispute to join hands with him and develop the state.

Bello’s declaration is sequel to his final confirmation as the validly elected Governor of Kogi State by the Tribunal in Abuja on Friday.

The petition filed by the running mate of late Audu made it the fifth case he won.

He noted that the Tribunal had consistently dismissed all petitions from June 6 – 10 on lack of merit.

Governor Bello expressed regret on the petition filed by Mr Falake who is a co-party member of the All Progressive Congress (APC).

He said the petition indeed polarised the APC in Kogi State, especially when the party was meant to unite after the death of the leader, Prince Audu.

The Governor also called on the members of the State Assembly, who had withdrawn involvement in the activities of the legislative arm, to return in the interest of the state.

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.

PDP Asks INEC To Declare Wada Winner Of Kogi Governorship Election

PDP Caucus Meets Ahead Kogi Supplementary Polls

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected the decision to replace the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the supplementary election slated for December 5, saying there is no provision for such in the constitution and the electoral law.

The party made its position known in a communiqué issued at the end of its emergency national caucus meeting on Wednesday.

In the communique signed by the party’s spokesman, Mr Olisa Metuh, the PDP responded to various statements that followed the death of Abubakar Audu, including that of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.

Mr Abubakar said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) could substitute its candidate, who died a day after the November 21 poll, in the supplementary elections.

The party insists that with the death of the APC candidate, Abubakar Audu, the APC has legally crashed out of the governorship race, and that has left INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Captain Idris Wada as the winner of the election.

The PDP noted that if the APC is allowed to substitute its original candidate, then the party would have fielded two separate candidates in the same election, a scenario that is completely alien to the electoral laws and to any known democratic norms and practice world-over.

Full Text: Communique Issued At The End Of The Emergency National Caucus Meeting Of The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Held On Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The National Caucus of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) met on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 in Abuja wherein it thoroughly considered the developments arising from the conduct of the inconclusive governorship election in Kogi State and resolved as follows:

1) Completely rejects the decision of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in yielding to the unlawful prompting of a clearly partisan Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, to allow APC to substitute a candidate in the middle of an election, even when such has no place in the Constitution and the Electoral Act.

2) Insists that with the death of its candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has legally crashed out of the governorship race as no known law or constitutional provision allows the substituting of candidates, once the ballot process has commenced.

3) Insists that with the unfortunate death of Prince Abubakar Audu, the APC has no valid candidate in the election, leaving INEC with no other lawful option than to declare the PDP candidate, Captain Idris Wada as the winner of the election.

4) Notes that the combine reading of the provisions of the constitution and Electoral Act does not in any war whatsoever support the substitution of candidates for election in the middle of the ballot process.

5) Notes that if APC is allowed to substitute its original candidate, then the party would have fielded two separate candidates in the same election, a scenario that is completely alien to our electoral laws and to any known democratic norms and practice world-over.

6) Caucus observes that the APC, fully aware that it has no case before the law is now orchestrating confusion in the polity with a view to diverting attention from its glaring incompetence and failure of governance.

7) Observes that the leadership of INEC as presently constituted under the Chairmanship of Professor Mahmood Yakubu has demonstrated that it is incapable of neutrality and as such cannot be vested with the conduct of the Kogi governorship supplementary election as well as the December 5, 2015 Bayelsa governorship election.

8) As a result, caucus demands the immediate resignation of the chairman and all national commissioners of INEC to pave the way for a new non-partisan commission to conduct the forth-coming elections.

9) Caucus also demands the immediate resignation of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, for deliberately misleading INEC into arriving at the unconstitutional decision of allowing APC to substitute its candidate in the inconclusive election.

10) Notes that in order to save the nation’s democracy from imminent collapse, the PDP as a critical stakeholder will immediately challenge this unlawful and unconstitutional decision by INEC in the court.

11) Caucus also alerts that the AGF, INEC and APC are creating a scenario where a loser in a primary will patiently wait for the winning candidate to finish election and then have him either poisoned or assassinated before the final collation of results.

12) Caucus calls on the international community to prevail on the APC government to stop this ceaseless assault on our democracy.

Signed:

Chief Olisa Metuh
National Publicity Secretary

 

PPA Urges Conduct Of Fresh Election In Kogi

PPA---KogiThe Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) has called for a fresh conduct of the Kogi State governorship election, following the death of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Abubakar Audu.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja, the party’s governorship candidate, Mr Emmanuel Ozigi, argued that the APC cannot go into the election with a fresh candidate at the supplementary level.

Mr Ozigi insisted that all the candidates traversed the entire state to seek for the mandate of the people, but that a fresh face joining the contest half-way would be unfair to the people of the state and other parties involved.

Following the death of Prince Audu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) fixed December 5, 2015 for the conduct of the Kogi State governorship supplementary election, after the previous election ended without a clear winner and was declared inconclusive.

The APC had said that a fresh primary will be conducted, to determine who would replace the deceased in the supplementary election.

I Will Declare State Of Emergency In Economic And Power Sectors If Elected – Audu

APCThe flag bearer of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Kogi State, Prince Abubakar Audu, has promised to declare a state of emergency in the economic and power sector, if voted in as the Governor of the state for four years.

Prince Audu disclosed this while receiving a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Leke Abejide, who decamped to the APC with hundreds of supporters at Alu in Yagba East Local Government Area of the state.

While soliciting for votes from the people, Audu, who was the former Governor of the state, said the welfare of the people remained a priority to him, noting that he has the best interest of the people at heart.

Lake Abejide, who decamped to the APC, gave his reasons for quitting the PDP.

“There are five reasons I left the PDP. Foremost of it all is that the PDP is conservative in nature and I am progressive in nature, he said.

“Over the years, I have tried to change things within their fold, but I have realised that it will not be. After painstaking deliberation with some of my followers and supporters across the three local councils in the area, and some people outside the state, we decided it is best to move to the APC where the real idea behind my joining politics can be realised”, He added

While the political parties solicit for votes from the electorate ahead of the election, the people will decide through secret ballot system who will rule them.

The Jigawa State Governor, Abubakar Badaru, who was also at the occasion, urged the people to vote APC for better things to come.

Kogi ANPP Now Positioned To Win – Daudu

The All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), Kogi State Chapter, has said that it is now well positioned to win overwhelmingly in the forthcoming local government election in the state.

The chairman of the party Hon. Patrick Daudu, stated this while receiving two of his members who are members of the State House of Assembly, Barrister Henry Ojuola and Folusho Daniel who left the ANPP last year to join other parties.

While welcoming the members back to the party, Hon. Daudu noted that the defection of the members to other political parties last year was in error and a clear violation of the provisions of the electoral law 2007 as amended

According to him the party on January 2013, had given the two members 30 days ultimatum to either return to the party or have their seats declared vacant.

Receiving them back to the party they promised to work for the growth and advancement of the party, they enjoined members of the ANPP not to work for the fall of the party in the state, saying that ANPP which used to be the foremost opposition in Nigeria has had its fortunes dwindled due to betrayal from members.

Barrister Henry Ojuola had last year defected to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), to run as running mate to Prince Abubakar Audu while Folusho Daniel defected to ruling People Democratic Party (PDP).