A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday struck out a suit filed by the Deputy Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr James Faleke, challenging the electoral body’s power to conduct a supplementary election and the power of his party to name Yahaya Bello as substitute for late Audu Abubakar.
The court, presided over by Gabriel Kolawole, declined jurisdiction in the suit, saying that only an Election Tribunal could adjudicate such suit.
‘Idle Judicial Indulgence’
He said that the role of the judgement was to create a judicial and permissive atmosphere for INEC to conduct the supplementary election scheduled for December 5.
The judge further said that it was his view that where the court did not have affirmative powers to make declarative orders, it would amount to ‘idle judicial indulgence’ to proceed with the suit.
The court had on Tuesday said it would consolidate all four suits related to the Kogi governorship election and give its judgment on Friday.
Before the case was filed by Mr Faleke, the APC on Monday chose Mr Bello as substitute to late Audu, retaining Mr Faleke as the new governorship candidate’s deputy. Mr Faleke disagrees with this choice.
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.
Mr Faleke on Tuesday filed a separate suit against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC at the registry of Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Mr Faleke asked 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 wanted 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.
Politics in the state took a different turn after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) 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.