Kogi Governor – elect, Bello’s Fate Hangs in Balance as Tribunal Gives Judgment Today

A little later today, Monday, January 25, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, Governor elect for Kogi State will know if he would be sworn in Wdnesday, January 27, as the Governor of Kogi State.
The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja fixed Monday for ruling on two separate motions seeking to stop the inauguration of Alhaji Bello as Governor.
The two motions seeking an order of the Tribunal to stop the inauguration were filed by counsel to Governor Idris Wada and PDP, Chief Chris Uche (SAN) and that of Labour Party, Reuben Egwuaba.
The Chairman of the Tribunal, Justice Halima Mohammed, fixed the date after listening to submissions and adoption of written addresses of the counsel to the two parties Friday.
Uche said his motion on notice dated January 12 and filed on January 13 was supported by a 44-paragraph affidavit and 10 grounds
In his own motion on notice, Egwuaba had averred that Bello was not qualified to participate in the supplementary election when he did.
He said apart from his failure to participate in all the electoral processes preparatory to the governorship election, Bello breached the Electoral Act (2010) as amended, as he contested the supplementary election without a valid running mate.
“Consequent upon nomination of Bello as replacement for Abubakar Audu, Hon. James Faleke, who was Audu’s running mate, withdrew and dissociated himself from participating in supplementary election as Bello’s running mate,” he argued.
Joseph Daudu (SAN), counsel to the Governor-elect, opposed the motion in his submission, strengthened by a 31-paragraph counter affidavit.
He urged the Tribunal to dismiss the motion on the ground that the Tribunal was not constitutionally empowered to stop the swearing-in of a Governor-elect.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Alex Izinyon (SAN) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), Charles Edosomwan (SAN) also opposed the motion in their submissions.
Aside these cases, there is also that of James Faleke, Deputy Governorship candidate to late Prince Abubakar Audi, who died on the edge of the Governorship victory of November 27, 2015.
Faleke has since gone to court, demanding that he be declared Governor elect rather than Bello, who was used to replace late Audi in the supplementary that followed the inconclusive election.
As Kogites, indeed Nigerians, await the verdict of the Tribunal, Bello’s fate also hangs in the balance.

Author: News Editor

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