Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal sitting at Jabi Abuja, Tuesday, dismissed the application filed by a former Governor of the state, Idris Wada against Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello.
Wada was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the November 26, 2015 governorship election in the state and had contested against the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Abubakar Audu.
The APC’s candidate was cruising home to victory, when suddenly he died.
Before then, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), had declared the governorship election inconclusive.
INEC requested APC to nominate another candidate to replace Audu for the supplementary election.
Bello was nominated by the APC been the runner up in the primaries of the party.
At the end of the supplementary election on December 5, 2015, Bello was declared the Governor Elect.
But Wad challenged the decision of INEC asking for replacement, at the Tribunal, arguing either the result of the election was outrightly cancelled or he be declared as the winner been that he came second in the inconclusive election.
Wada maintained that INEC contravened the electoral law by accepting to allow the APC to replace the late Prince Audu with Bello.
He went before the Tribunal asking that Bello’s election be declared null and viod.
He argued on grounds of what he termed, “gross irregularities” during the polls.
He wanted the Tribunal to determine if Bello was qualified to be declared Governor-elect even though he did not take part in all the electoral processes that led to the supplementary poll.
The former Governor through his team of lawyers led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN, also claimed that his successor went into the supplementary poll without a valid running-mate.
The former Governor through his team of lawyers led by Chief Chris Uche, SAN, argued that without a running mate, nomination of a governorship candidate is invalid and for Bello to go into the controversial December 5 supplementary election without a running mate was against the relevant sections of the electoral laws.
In dismissing Wada’s petition, the Tribunal noted that the petitioner has no locu standi to question the nomination of Bello by APC, being issue of candidate’s nomination was a domestic affairs of a party.
On the agument of irregularities, the court said the petitioner failed woefully to prove the case, because he did not tender documents to support his argument.
The Tribunal equally said under section 177 and 182 of the Nigerian constitution, an election cannot be cancelled because of the issue of running mate, saying under the constitution James Faleke remains the Deputy Governor to Yahaya Bello, saying Faleke did not withdraw his candidacy through a proper channel.