Court To Decide Wada, Faleke’s Fate Today As Bello Lurks

[contextly_auto_sidebar id=”HpHvy40bhSGECOsy0yFGSFtfiZbmwyGC”]The crisis that has trailed the November 21 governorship election in Kogi state may be resolved today, December 4, less than 24 hours to the supplementary poll in the state.

This is following reports that Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court in Abuja will today deliver his judgement over the propriety of the conduct of supplementary poll in Kogi state.

The political arena in the state had thickened with hate and indifference following the death of the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate, Prince Audu Abubakar.

Shortly after his death, controversies erupted in the camp of the APC on who to succeed him. While some group of peoples backed the son of the late Audu, Mohammed Audu to succeed his father, some others preferred James Faleke, Late Audu’s running mate.

However, leaders of the APC after series of meeting decided to select Yahaya Bello, the runner up in party’s primary election to succeed the late Audu.

This was however greeted with extreme repugnance in both the camps of Faleke and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s candidate, Governor Idris Wada as both approached the Federal High Court to seek redress.

While Governor Idris Wada is urging the court to compel INEC to issue him a certificate of return as the only surviving candidate with the highest number of votes in the election, Hon James Faleke is asking the court to order INEC to declare him winner of the election.

At the resumed hearing of the matter yesterday, December 3, lawyers to the parties adopted and argued their applications for and against the decision of INEC to proceed with the December 5, 2015 supplementary election.

Other plaintiffs in consolidated suits, Emmanuel Idakwo, John Jacob Usman and Hon. Emmanuel Igbokwe had in their suits, urged the court to compel INEC to conduct fresh election in the state, following the death of the governorship candidate of the APC in the election, Alhaji Abubakar Audu.

However, INEC had filed preliminary objection against the suits, asking the court to dismiss the matter on the grounds that it lacks jurisdiction to hear the matter, saying that it has the statutory power to conduct elections while aggrieved parties can seek redress before the election petitions tribunal, The Nation reports.

Lawyers to INEC, Adegboyega Awomolo (SAN), Yahaya Bello, A Adeniyi and that of the APC, Bola Aidi, submitted that the court lacked the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the issues raised by the plaintiff, saying that the appropriate court is the election petitions tribunal.

While Falake’s lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Pius Akubo (SAN) for PDP and Chris Uche (SAN) for Governor Wada disagreed on the grounds that since no candidate has been declared winner, the matter cannot be heard by the tribunal.

Justice Gabriel Kolawole, among others, will today decide whether or not INEC could proceed with its planned supplementary election scheduled for tomorrow.

After Days of in-fighting and raising of dusts between James Faleke and Yahaya Bello, on who will replace Audu, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirmed request made by the APC for the nomination of Bello for the supplementary election in Kogi state on Monday, November 30.

This confirmation was made by the INEC deputy director in charge of publicity, Nick Dazang.

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