Faleke did not resign before Kogi guber polls, witness tells tribunal
• Says candidate was running-mate throughout election
A witness at the Kogi Governorship Election Tribunal, Mr. Edward Onoja, yesterday told the tribunal that James Faleke did not resign his position before the governorship election.
Onoja, who was Chief Strategic Officer to Governor Yahaya Bello during the December 5, 2015 Kogi governorship election and also the Chief of Staff to the governor, told the petition tribunal that Mr. Faleke was a running-mate to the governor during the election.
While being led in evidence by counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Ayotunde Ogunleye, the witness told the tribunal that he was not aware that Faleke wrote to the leadership of the APC of withdrawal of his candidature as a running mate to Governor Bello before the election.
He also told the tribunal that he was neither aware if APC national leader wrote to the National Assembly of Faleke’s withdrawal.
“James Faleke did not resign his position before the election; he has always been the running-mate throughout the election.
“INEC published the list of the candidate that contested the supplementary election of which Faleke was included as the running-mate.
“Faleke only ended up as deputy governorship candidate and never graduated to be the governor”, Onoja said.
The witness also told the tribunal that he could not say whether Governor Bello voted during the election or not.
According to the witness, what were contained on the ballot paper during the election were only the names of the parties and not the names of the candidates.
Several documents were shown to the witness who admitted to have seen some of them before, during and after the election.
Counsel to former Governor Idris Wada, Mr. Chris Uche, who had closed his prosecution case after the former governor, had given his testimony to some of the documents on April 14,
Wada, who is chief petitioner in the matter, testified as third prosecution witness (PW3) and was cross-examined by counsel to respondents in the matter before the tribunal.
While being cross-examined by counsel to the APC, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (second respondent), Wada told the tribunal that the first respondent, Yahaya Bello, is a stranger to the election having not followed the process of candidature as required by law.
The matter was adjourned till April 25, 2016 for continuation of hearing.