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Kogi: Faleke Asks Court To Declare Him Governor-Elect

*Rejects Nomination As Bello’s Running Mate

By Abdul Gaffar Bello

The running mate to late Abubakar Audu in November 21, Kogi Governorship election, Hon. James Faleke, has filed a suit before a Federal High Court Abuja, challenging the decision of his party, the APC on substituting Alhaji Yahya Bello with the former Governor.

Faleke is simultaneously demanding the court to declare him as the Governor-elect and praying the INEC to issue him the certificate of return.

He argued that the poll conducted by INEC in Kogi about two weeks ago, was concluded, therefore, there was no ground for his party to nominate him as the running mate to Alhaji Bello in the Supplementary election which is scheduled for Saturday, December 5, 2015.

Consequently, Hon. Faleke said he has written the National Chairman of his party, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, to withdraw his nomination as running mate to Bello – already sent to the INEC Monday.

Faleke had equally written the Electoral body to delete his name as the running mate to the party’s APC substituted candidate – Bello.

The plaintiff’s Counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) in the suit filed Tuesday before the court, said contrary to the claim by the INEC, the election was conclusive and he (Faleke) as the running mate to late Prince Audu, should be declared the winner of the poll.

The suit which joined INEC as one of the defendants, prayed the court to order INEC to discontinue with the planned supplementary election to hold in 91 polling units.

Faleke’s petition stated: “In law and logic, no new candidate can inherit or be a beneficiary of the votes already cast, counted and declared by INEC before that candidate was nominated and purportedly sponsored.

“Assuming without conceding that INEC is even right to order a supplementary election, the votes already cast, counted and declared on Saturday, 25th November 2015, were votes for the joint constitutional ticket of Prince Abubakar Audu and our client.

“Therefore, no new or ‘supplementary’ candidate can hijack, aggregate, appropriate or inherit the said votes.”

It would be recalled Hon. Faleke in Ogonicha in Ofu LGA residence of late Audu declared in the presence of party supporters that the struggle to claim the mandate given to him and Prince Audu would be sustained. He immediately after, picked the former Governorship candidate’s eldest son, Muhammad as his running mate.

Faleke yesterday formally wrote his party’s Chairman on the development, still, the APC went ahead to substitute late Audu with Bello, while making him (Faleke) his running mate.

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