Kogi Election: Tribunal orders parties to regularise processes before pre-hearing


The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Kogi State, on Tuesday, directed all the parties involved in the petitions before it to regularise all processes before commencing pre-hearing.

Justice Halima Muhammad, Chairman of the tribunal, gave the directive during sitting in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the chairman’s directive followed a revelation by the counsel to the petitioners that they had just been served motions in respect of the six petitions before the tribunal.

Some of the counsel also told the tribunal that they needed time to reply the motions served on them while others said they were yet to study the motions to know how to go about them.

Mr Wole Olanipekun (SAN), counsel to the Mr James Faleke, told the tribunal that he was served motions `this morning.’

Faleke (1st petitioner), is challenging the election of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi as well the conduct of the election by INEC.

“We have just received a motion from the 1st respondent, INEC, another one from the 2nd respondent, Bello, and we need to reply.

“We are ready to go on with the matter but we will not hesitate to take any directive from his lordship on how the proceedings should go’’, Olanipekun said.

Mr Chris Uche (SAN), counsel to the 2nd petitioner, Capt. Idris Wada, immediate past Governor of Kogi, told the tribunal that his client had filed all documents in relation to the pre-hearing.

Uche also told the tribunal that there were four pending motions his team of lawyers needed to study before proceeding on the matter.

NAN reports that Wada, his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi and the Peoples Democratic Party are also challenging the election of Bello, his party; the All Progressives Congress and INEC.

The second petitioners said that the election of Bello did not follow due electoral process.

Other petitions before the tribunal those of Progressive People’s Alliance who had Mr Emmanuel Ozigi as its governorship candidate and Philip Salawu, former Deputy Governor of Kogi.

Salawu contested the Nov.21 governorship election on the platform of the Labour Party (LP).

African Democratic Congress with Usman Zainab as its governorship candidate and Akwu Goodman of all All Progressive Grand Alliance also filed petitions before the tribunal challenging the election of Bello.

They also challenged Bello’s election on the ground that it did not follow the due process.

Meanwhile, Bello is also challenging African Democratic Congress, Labour Party and All Progressives Grand Alliance, on the premise that their petitions were not competent and lacking merit.

Justice Muhammad has, therefore, adjourned pre-hearing in the petitions to different dates.

He adjourned that of Faleke to March 8, Wada to March 4, PPA and LP March 9, while the tribunal will commence pre-hearing on ADC and APGA on March 11. (NAN)

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