Tribunal Victory, An Act Of God – Yahaya Bello

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

 

 

The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has commended the judgement of the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which upheld his re-election.

He described his victory at the Tribunal as an act of God and a testament to the popular votes cast in his favour by the people of the state.

Governor Bello stated this on Sunday shortly after he observed the Eid prayer at the Lokoja Township Stadium to mark the Eid-El-Fitr in Lokoja, the state capital.

According to him, the electorate re-elected him during the November 2019 governorship election to enable him to consolidate on the achievement recorded in his first tenure.

The governor insisted that his victory which was affirmed on Saturday by the judges of the Tribunal did not come to him as a surprise, as the electorate came out in large numbers to vote for him and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

READ ALSO: Nigeria Marks Eid-El-Fitr Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

He stated that the victory has posed a challenge to him and assured the people that he would continue to do his best to ensure that they get good governance in the state.

Governor Bello made the remarks a day after the Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja dismissed the petition filed by the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, Mr Musa Wada, and his party.

In a judgment of two to one, the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations of over-voting, massive thumbprinting, and voter intimidation, among other electoral malpractices against the governor.

He also awarded a cost of N1 million to be paid by the petitioners to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Bello, and the APC who were the respondents.

Governor Bello’s re-election was, however, nullified by Justice Ohimai Ovbiagele who gave a dissenting judgment.

Justice Ovbiagele, therefore, 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 Gov Election: PDP’s Musa Wada Vows To Appeal Tribunal Judgment

 

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the November 16, 2019, governorship election in Kogi State, Mr Musa Wada, has vowed to appeal the judgment of the election tribunal given on Saturday.

He said this in an exclusive interview with Channels Television in Abuja later on Saturday.

Musa had filed a petition challenging the election of Mr Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State.

But in a judgment of two to one, delivered by the Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Kashim Kaigama, the tribunal held that the petitioner had 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.

Read Also: Tribunal Affirms Election Of Yahaya Bello As Kogi Governor

Meanwhile, 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.

In reaction, Wada said the dissenting judgment by Justice Ovbragele is a clear indication that the election of Governor Bello was flawed.

He, therefore, insisted that the majority judgment of the Tribunal is not a true representation of the events of November 16, 2019, in Kogi State.

Kogi Election Tribunal Dismisses Akpoti’s Suit Against Bello

A file photo of the SDP governorship candidate in Kogi State, Natasha Akpoti.

 

 

The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has dismissed the petition filed by Natasha Akpoti, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and her party against Governor Yahaya Bello.

A three-man panel of judges led by Justice Kashim Kaigama dismissed the suit in a unanimous judgment on Monday.

The petitioners had filed the suit to challenge the victory of Governor Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16, 2019 governorship election in Kogi.

Delivering the lead judgement, Justice Kaigama held that the petition failed woefully as the testimonies given by the petitioners’ witnesses amounted to hearsay, doubtful, illogical, and of no probative value.

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

 

The Tribunal, however, awarded a cost of N600,000 to be paid by the petitioners to the three respondents.

They include the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, and Governor Bello.

Gambari’s Appointment, A Round Peg In A Round Hole – Bello

New Chief of Staff to President Muhammdu Buhari, Professor Ibrahim Gambari.

 

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, believes the appointment of Professor Ibrahim Gambari as the new Chief of Staff to the President is the right step in the right direction.

In a statement on Wednesday by his Chief Press Secretary, Onogwu Muhammed, the governor described Professor Gambari as a man of many parts whose vast wealth of knowledge and experience remain unrivalled in Africa.

He noted that as a thoroughbred scholar and seasoned career diplomat who served in various national and international capacities, Gambari’s appointment was “no doubt a round peg in a round hole”.

READ ALSO: Recovered COVID-19 Patients In Nigeria Surpass 1,000

According to Governor Bello, the new Chief of Staff to the President will bring his wealth of knowledge to bear in the discharge of his new responsibility.

“Just as the Late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari played a prominent role in the success of the Buhari’s administration, your coming in to fill the vacuum will further add more colour to the administration’s achievements,” he was quoted as saying in the statement.

The governor added, “Congratulations once again and I pray that the Almighty Allah will give you the needed energy and wisdom to take on this new responsibility”.

COVID-19: Kogi Governor Orders Isolation Of NCDC Officials

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

 

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has ordered a delegation of officials of the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to be quarantined at the state Isolation centre for 14 days.

The health worker, who are members of the NCDC Rapid Response Team, were deployed in Kogi to ascertain the true status of the state as a COVID-19-free state.

Governor Bellow, however, directed that they should be isolated before they can take the sample of any resident of the state.

He gave the directive on Thursday when the health officials visited the Government House in Lokoja, the state capital.

The governor explained that the decision was strictly in line with the laid down procedures of the NCDC and the World Health Organisation (WHO) to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delegation led by Dr Noah Andrew had arrived at the Government House in Lokoja to present a letter, entitled ‘Deployment Of Rapid Response Squad To Help In Fighting COVID-19 In Kogi State’ to the governor.

READ ALSO: Supreme Court Nullifies Orji Uzor Kalu’s Conviction

Dr Andrew said the mission of the centre was to provide logistics to all states of the Federation, including Kogi State.

He added that two members of the team would be left behind to assist the state and support its effort in preventing the disease.

The NCDC official urged the residents to observe social distancing and use face masks at all times, as part of the measures to fight the pandemic.

Meanwhile, the NCDC officials have reportedly fled out of the state for fear of being detained in the isolation centre.

Yahaya Bello Sworn In For Second Term

 

The inauguration ceremony of Governor Yahaya Bello for another term in office is ongoing in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital.

Governor Bello as well as his deputy and running mate in the November 2019 election, Edward Onoja, were sworn in by the Chief Justice of the State.

The event was attended by some governors and top government officials among other dignitaries.

Watch the video below:

Kogi Governor Yahaya Bello Loses Sister

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

 

 

Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has lost his elder sister, Rabiat Bello.

Rabiat was said to have died on Monday night following a protracted illness at the age of 59.

A day after the incident, President Muhammadu Buhari condoled with the governor on the demise of his sister.

The President said he understood the bond and affection of a united family and the pain when one loses a dearly beloved elder sister.

He prayed Almighty Allah to comfort the family of Bello, relatives, and friends who mourn the passage of Rabiat.

President Buhari noted that Governor Bello has very fond memories of his sister who brought him up from childhood.

“May Allah forgive her shortcomings and reward her good deeds with paradise,” the President was quoted as saying in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu.

Kogi Governor Bello Dissolves Cabinet

 

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has dissolved his cabinet.

While thanking them for their service since he assumed office in 2015, the governor asked them to see themselves as a member of the family.

Bello who spoke to journalists after a valedictory session of the Council told the outgoing members to advise the government whenever the need arises.

Mr Kingsly Fanwo who was formerly the Director-General, Media and Publicity to the governor, is now Special Adviser on Information and Communication.

READ ALSO: ‘Senator Uwajumogu Was Full Of Life’ – Lawan, Gbajabiamila Mourn

The finance commissioner, Idris Hashiru is now Special Adviser on Budget and Planning.

Meanwhile, the governor retained the Secretary to the State Government, Dr Folashade Ayoade Arike.

Similarly, the state Accountant General, Momoh Jibril and the state Auditor General, Mallam Yakubu Okala and the Chief Press Secretary to the governor Mallam Muhammed Onogu were reinstated.

Governor Bello had in November sacked all his special advisers, senior special assistants, special assistants and some heads of boards.

Court Adjourns Impeached Kogi Deputy Governor’s Suit

A file photo of Kogi State Deputy Governor, Simon Achuba.

 

The State High Court sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State capital on Monday adjourned hearing in the application brought by Simon Achuba over his impeachment as the deputy governor of the state.

Achuba is seeking to join the Clerk of the State Assembly as a co-defendant and for hearing on the originating summon.

Justice Richard Olorunfemi adjourned till January 15th as date to rule on whether the Clerk has locus standi to be joined in the matter and for the commencement of the hearing on the originating summon.

READ ALSO: Alleged Money Laundering: Faisal Maina’s Trial Resumes In Abuja

It will be recalled that Achuba had challenged his impeachment by the Kogi State Assembly and sought for relief of the court to declare his impeachment as illegal and to be reinstated as the rightful deputy governor of the state.

In their submission, counsel to the impeached deputy governor, Jibrin Okutachi (SAN), in a 13-page counter affidavit, submitted that the court should discountenance the application by the Clerk, describing it as a breach of court order 11, rule 2, subsection 4, and section 115 subsection 4 of the evidence act.

Okutachi described the Clerk of the House as an interloper. He also described his application as a waste of the court’s time, geared towards irritating the claimant. He urged the trial judge to dismiss the application.

In reaction, counsel to the Clerk, Adetunde Oso described the Clerk as the custodian of record of the Assembly. He added that his seeking to be a party on the matter would help clear the air on the exhibits submitted by the claimant.

Justice Olorunfemi, in his ruling described the matter as one that is time bound, adding that he would ensure that the matter is dispensed with within the time frame.

He then adjourned the matter for ruling on the motion for joinder and hearing of the originating summons.

PHOTOS: President Buhari Congratulates Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello On His Re-Election

 

President Buhari has congratulated the Kogi Governor-elect, Yahaya Bello.

The governor-elect was formally presented to the President today at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The presentation was done by the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Adams Oshiomhole.

Bello had earlier received a Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission in Abuja on Thursday, following his victory at the polls on Saturday, November 16th.

Below are some photos from the formal presentation of the governor-elect.

READ ALSO: Buhari Receives Bayelsa Governor-Elect, David Lyon

 

INEC Presents Certificate Of Return To Yahaya Bello

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has presented the Certificate of Return to Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

Governor Bello received the certificate on Thursday, three days after he was declared as the winner of the just concluded governorship election in the state.

INEC’s National Commissioner in charge of Nasarawa, Kogi, and Kwara States, Mohammed Haruna, presented the certificate to the governor at a ceremony attended by the Commissioner of Police in Kogi which held at the INEC office in Lokoja, the state capital.

READ ALSO: Yahaya Bello Re-Elected Kogi State Governor

The governor was also accompanied by his deputy, Edward Onoja, and top government officials and chieftains of the All Progressives Congress in the state.

 

Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) were the top contender in the November 16 poll.

The election was keenly contested and not without incidents of violence such as attacks on some polling units while at least three people lost their lives.

Two days after the poll was conducted, the governor was returned elected after polling the highest number of votes in the exercise.

The APC candidate polled a total of 406,222 votes to beat his PDP rival who scored 189,704 votes and the SDP candidate who garnered a total of 9,482 votes.

Governor Bello won 12 out of the 21 local government areas of the state while Wada claimed nine LGAs.

On her part, Natasha did not win any local government.

Pockets Of Violence Is Not Enough To Discredit Kogi Election, Says Yahaya Bello

 

The re-elected Governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello on Tuesday reacted to his victory at the just-concluded election which he described as free and fair.

Bello who spoke during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily accepted that there was violence during the election but added that this is not enough to the election.

“The conduct of the election was quite very credible, a level-playing field was provided and it was free and fair. In every election, there is bound to be one issue or the other and you can’t take a pocket of issues to judge the general conduct of the election.

READ ALSO: Gunshots As Suspected Thugs Attack Polling Units In Kogi

“Regarding the comment of the civil society organisation, they are entitled to their own opinion but let us know the parameters with which they are judging this election.

“How many polling units did they visit out of 2,548 polling units, 239 wards and 21 local governments across the difficult terrains of this state? How many people have they reached out to?

“Have they interviewed all the electorates? So what are their yardsticks.?” The governor queried.

Bello’s reaction comes after criticisms by many civil society groups including the European Union (EU) which condemned the reports of widespread incidents of violence and voter intimidation.

The Diplomatic Watch on Sunday expressed alarm at the reports of fatalities and missing people during the Kogi election and urged stakeholders to call for calm.

“We express our alarm at reports of widespread incidents of violence and intimidation, some of which were witnessed by our teams in Kogi. There are reports of fatalities and people missing, including INEC staff. Our thoughts are with all victims and their families,” their statement read in part.

The Diplomatic Watch deployed teams from Austria, the European Union Delegation, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States to monitor Kogi and Bayelsa state elections on November 16.

Also, the Youth Initiative for Advocacy, Growth & Advancement (YIAGA Africa), on Sunday called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a new election in Kogi State following reported cases of violence, vote-buying, and manipulation of voters.

YIAGA explained that the elections in the state did not reflect the preferences of voters because they were not given genuine opportunity to exercise their right to vote.

The Centre for Democracy and Development, (CDD), on Monday said 10 deaths and 129 cases of violence and electoral crimes were recorded in the just concluded polls in Kogi and Bayelsa states.