Keyamo says running mate should be named governor

Audu died on Sunday, November 22, 2015, after the elections, which held on Saturday, were declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Prince Abubakar Audu

Popular lawyer, Festus Keyamo has said that the running mate of late All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Kogi State, Abubakar Audu should be declared governor of the state.

Audu died on Sunday, November 22, 2015, after the elections, which held on Saturday, were declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

“The real question agitating the minds of everybody is the legal implication regarding the inconclusive governorship elections at the time of his demise. To state it correctly he was said to have died AFTER the announcement of the results by INEC and after INEC had declared the elections inconclusive,” Keyamo said in a statement.

“Admittedly, this is a strange and novel constitutional scenario. It has never happened in our constitutional history to the extent that when an election has been partially conducted (and not before or after the elections) a candidate dies. What then happens?

“This is a hybrid situation between what happened in the case of Atiku Abubakar/Boni Haruna in 1999 and the provision of section 33 of the electoral act, 2010.

“In the case of Atiku Abubakar/Boni Haruna [which is now a clear constitutional provision of section 181(1) of the 1999 constitution (as amended)]  the Supreme Court held, in effect, that ‘if a person duly elected as governor dies before taking and subscribing the oath of allegiance and oath of office, or is unable for any reason whatsoever to be sworn in, the person elected with him as deputy governor shall be sworn in as governor and he shall nominate a new deputy-governor who shall be appointed by the governor with the approval of a simple majority of the house of assembly of the state’.

“In the case of section 33 of the electoral act 2010 it provides, in effect, that if a person has been duly nominated as a candidate of his party and he dies before the election then the political party has the right to replace him with another candidate and not necessarily the deputy governorship candidate.

“Now, does the Kogi situation fit into section 181(1) of the constitution as quoted above or section 33 of the electoral act mentioned above? My simple position is that the Kogi situation fits more into section 181(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and as such James Abiodun Faleke automatically becomes the governorship candidate of the APC.

“This is because even though the election in inconclusive, votes have been counted and allocated to parties and candidates. As a result the joint ticket of Audu/Faleke has acquired some votes already. “#James Abiodun Faleke is as much entitled to those votes already counted as much as the late Abubakar Audu. He has a right to cling to those votes going into the supplementary election,” Keyamo said.

Audu will be buried today, November 23, in accordance with Islamic rites.

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