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Court Of Appeal Upholds Kogi Gov. Yahya Bello’s Election


…Dismisses Faleke, Wada Appeals

By Abdul Gaffar Bello

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – A Court of Appeal, in the Abuja Division has upheld the victory of Kogi State Governor, Yahya Bello.

The five-man panel led by Justice Jumai Hannatu Sanke Thursday ruled that the appellant, Mr. James Abiodun Faleke failed to convince the learned judges that Governor Bello was not qualified to have been substituted by his party – the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) after the death of the original party’s flag bearer, late Prince Abubakar Audu, while the November 9, 2015 State governorship election was still underway.

Faleke, a serving member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal constituency, was the Prince Audu’s running mate in the last year’s gubernatorial poll.

Consequently, the court ruled that the State Election Petitions Tribunal was right in dismissing Faleke’s suit and to have declared Bello the valid winner of the election.

In a related ruling, former State Governor, Idris Wada’s appeal was also upturned by the court.

Justice Mojeed Owoade in his leading ruling also Thursday held that Wada’s appeal lacked in merit as he duly participated in the aborted and rerun polls in the interest of his party – the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

Justice Owoade ruled that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) decisions to have merged late Audu’s score and the re-run result which presented Bello as his party’s (APC) candidate and subsequently declared him as the winner were in order.

Consequently, his (Wada) six grounds of appeal were resolved against him.

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