Kogi Elections Court to decide Wada, Bello, Faleke’s fate on Friday

Justice Gabriel Kolawole‎ of the Federal High Court, Abuja heard the suits challenging the legality of the scheduled run-off poll.

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PDP candidate, Gov. Idris Wada and APC candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu play

PDP candidate, Gov. Idris Wada and APC candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu

(Post Nigeria)
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Four separate suits, countering the planned supplementary governorship election in Kogi State, have been instituted and all of them are prays the court to stop the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from going ahead with poll scheduled for Saturday, December 5.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole‎ of the Federal High Court, Abuja heard the suits challenging the legality of the scheduled run-off poll.

In his hearing, Justice Kolawole said there no need for the court to take a position on the matter “so that INEC will not conduct the election under a grave shadow of doubt as to the legal or constitutional validity”.

He consolidated the four suits, as he persuaded lawyers to the various plaintiffs to distill out three central issues for the court to determine.

The first suit was lodged before the court by the Kogi state governor, Captain Idris Wada, retd, the second suit was filed by ‎the governorship candidate of the People for Democratic Change, in the state, Hon. Emmanuel Daikwo.

While the third suit was filed by a legal practitioner, Mr. Johnson Usman, the fourth suit was filed by two plaintiffs, a member representing Ahiazu Ezinaehitte Mbaise Federal Constituency of Imo state at the National Assembly, Hon. Rafael Igbokwe, and an electorate from Omala LGA in Abelijukolo Ife of Eche ward in Kogi state, Mr. Stephen Wada Omaye.

READ: Kogi Elections: Faleke sues INEC, urges court to declare him governor-elect

In his original summons, Wada had prayed the court to declare him winner of the November 21 governorship election, the other plaintiffs however sought for the nullification of the election, as well as an order compelling INEC to conduct a fresh poll.

However, sequel to the directive of the court, all the plaintiffs, led by Mr. Goddy Uche, SAN, narrowed the three issues for determination to include: “Whether having regard to the provisions of sections 31(1)(2)(4)(5)(6)(7) and (8), 33, 34, 36, 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended, as well as sections 178-181 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, INEC, can lawfully conduct a second/supplementary election into the office of Governor of Kogi state on December 5, 2015, or any other date at all let alone accepting the nomination/substitution by the APC of any candidate on the basis of votes computed and credited to the deceased candidate of the APC when the new or substitute candidate was not part of the original election”.

Justice Kolawole adjourned the case to Friday, December 4, for judgement. He warned the lawyers to stick strictly to issues of the law.

In the same vein,  James Abiodun Faleke, the running mate of the late APC governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu has approached the high court, seeking a declaration that election to the office of Governor of a state ‎can only be conducted in the manner expressly stipulated in section 179 (2), (a)(b), (3)(a)(b), 4(a)(b) and (5) of the constitution.

READ: Kogi Elections: INEC confirms APC’s Yahaya Bello as Audu’s replacement

Faleke demands that he be declared winner of the election in accordance to the section 179 (2)(a) and (b) and 181(1) of the constitution which says "upon the death of a person duly elected as the governor of a state, the person elected with him as Deputy-Governor is to ‎be sworn in as the Governor of the state”.

 

 

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