Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kogi: Appeal Court upholds Gov Bello's election

The Appeal Court in Abuja has upheld the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State in the November 21 and December 5, 2015 governor he ship election with a judge dissenting.

In a unanimous judgment by a five-member panel of justices, the appellate court upheld the verdict of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, which dismissed James Faleke's petition.

The Appeal Court in a lead judgement read by Justice Jummai Sankey held that contrary to Faleke's claim that he and the late candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abubakar Audu won the election on November 21, 2015 with 240, 248 as against the 6,885 votes by Bello in the supplementary of December i5, 2015, only one election was held and continued after it was declared inconclusive by INEC.

She said only a political party has the right to nominate a candidate to represent it in an election, adding that the court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the matter being an internal affair of the political party.

The appeal by former governor, Idris Wada of the PDP was dismissed by four of the five member panel with a judge dissenting on the ground that Governor Bello, who did not participate in all the stages of the election, is not validly elected governor of the state.

However, the dissenting voice, Justice Obande Festus Ogbuinya,  cancelled the election, ordered the withdrawal of the governor's certificate of return and the conduct of fresh election in the state.

Wada's counsel Gordy Uche (SAN) said the dissenting judgement justifies his cliebt's position that APC has no validly nominated candidate in the election, adding that it is a ground for appeal at the Supreme Court.

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