June 6, 2016

Yahaya Bello duly elected, you can’t be Kogi governor, tribunal tells Faleke

James Faleke, running mate to the late Abubakar Audu, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21, 2015 election, has lost his bid to unseat Yahaya Bello, governor of Kogi state.

The Kogi State governorship election tribunal, sitting in Abuja, upheld the election of Governor Yahaya Bello as the duly elected governor of Kogi State.

The three-man tribunal led by Justice Halima Mohammed held that Faleke lacked locus standi to challenge Bello’s election having never been sponsored by his party, the APC, as a governorship candidate in both the November 21, 2015 election and the December 6, 2015 supplementary poll.

The Chairman of the Tribunal, Halima Mohammed, who read the judgment in the petition filed by a member of the House of Representatives, James Faleke, threw away the petition for lacking in merit.

Justice  Mohammed said that the fact that INEC declared the first election held on November 21, 2015 inconclusive meant no governor or deputy governor-elect emerged, adding that Mr. Faleke therefore lacked the locus standi to challenge the nomination of Mr. Bello to replace the late Mr. Audu since he was never a deputy governor-elect.

She also averred that all votes cast belong to APC, “it is the political party, through the instrumentality of its candidate that runs for election.”

“No right can accrue from an inconclusive election,” she said.

Mr. Faleke ran as deputy governorship candidate with Mr. Audu and they were coasting to victory before Mr. Audu suddenly died.
INEC declared the election inconclusive and asked the APC to nominate a replacement for the deceased. Mr. Bello was nominated and he nominated Mr. Faleke as his deputy, an offer the latter refused.