The Federal High Court, Abuja will Tuesday open hearing in the suit filed last Thursday by Governor Idris Wada of Kogi State and his party – the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in which they seek to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to declare Wada winner of the inconclusive governorship election held in the state on November 21.
The nation reports that the suit now before Justice Gabriel Kolawole has been scheduled for Tuesday for mention. It is however not clear if further steps would be taken in the case because the defendants were yet to file any process as at Monday.
INEC, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the All Progressive Congress (APC) are listed as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants.
It is Wada’s contention that in view of the death of the candidate of the APC, Abubkar Audu it was incumbent on INEC to declare him winner of the election, which INEC declared inconclusive.
He hinged his argument on the ground that he was the only surviving candidate with the majority of lawful votes cast in election held on 21st November 2015.
He also asked the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue him with a Certificate of Return.
Wada and the PDP also filed another application praying the court to restrain INEC from conducting the December 5th supplementary election.
The governor is seeking an order of injunction restraining APC from organizing or holding a fresh primary election for the purpose of any supplementary or other election for the Kogi State governorship election 2015.
He also asked the court to declare that APC cannot organize and hold a fresh primary election for the purpose of the supplementary election, having regard to the immutable statutory timeliness provided by enabling sections of the Electoral Act 2010 and the INEC timetable for Kogi Governorship election.
The plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the AGF was not competent to issue directives to INEC to allow APC to substitute its candidate for the Kogi governorship election after the commencement of the election and that such directives are null and void for inconsistency with the provisions of the constitution.
They urged the court to hold that APC could not lawfully nominate a candidate for the supplementary governorship election slated for the 5th day of December 2015, without a valid and legally cognizable primary election of the APC conducted within the mandatory timeliness specified by the Electroal Act.
Wada and PDP further asked the court to declare that, “having regards to the provisions of Section 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010, votes scored by a candidate who died during an election cannot be inherited by or transferred to a person who was not a candidate at the said election and who did not participate in all stages of such election, for the purpose of concluding such election.
The plaintiffs, in a 36-paragraph supporting affidavit deposed to by the PDP State Collation Agent for the election, Joe Agada, it was stated that with the demise of APC’s candidate, the two leading candidates became Wada with 199,514 votes and and that of the Labour Party with 8, 756 votes.
“That I know as a fact that INEC on this basis ought to declare Wada the winner of the governorship election of 21st November 2015, being the only surviving candidate with the highest number of votes and scoring 25 per cent of the votes in all the Local Government Areas of the State.”