Six Kogi gubernatorial candidates challenge Bello’s declaration as governor-elect

Yahaya BelloSIX candidates of various parties that participated in the 2015 Kogi State Governorship election have approached the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja to challenge the declaration of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as the Governor elect in the said election.

The candidate of the All Progressive Grand Alliance (APGA) in the election Goodman Akwu also challenged the declaration of Bello by INEC as the governor-elect of the state at the tribunal.

Goodman Akwu, who filed his case last Thursday in Lokoja is asking the tribunal to order a fresh election as the votes of the late All Progressive Congress (APC) candidates, Prince Abubakar Audu, who died in the process also died with him. He said the votes of the late in the election cannot be transferred to another living person.

The candidates of the six political parties that had approached the Tribunal on the November 21st governorship election in Kogi are, Mr. James Abiodun Faleke, who was the running mate to the late candidate of APC, Prince Abubakar Audu, Governor Idris Ichalla Wada of PDP, Mr. Philips Omeiza Salawu of LP, Goodman Akwu of APGA.

Governor Idris Wada also filed a petition challenging the return of Alhaji Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the November 21, and December 5, state governorship election last week.

Mr. Akanji Akinlabi, Secretary of the state Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, who spoke to newsmen in Lokoja Wednesday, indicated that the petition was filed at about 7:15 pm on Tuesday.

He said that the petition signed by Chief Chris Uche (SAN) leading two other Senior Advocates of Nigeria among other lawyers, had the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alhaji Yahaya Bello and the APC as respondents.
Akinlabi said he was not in position to disclose the grounds of the petition and reliefs being sought by the petitioners to the public.

Wada was the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the November 21, governorship election declared inconclusive by INEC and later concluded on December 5, after a supplementary election in 91 polling units across the state.

It would be recalled that Mr. James Faleke, running mate to the APC candidate in the election, late Prince Abubakar Audu, filed his petition last Monday challenging the decision of INEC in declaring the November 21, election inconclusive.

Faleke, who held that INEC erred in Law through the declaration on the grounds that the election by all standards was concluded, urged the tribunal to so declare and that the APC on the Audu/Faleke ticket won the election.
It would be recalled that the APC flag bearer in the election, Audu, died on November 22, shortly before INEC declared the election inconclusive.



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