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Supreme Court Gives Reasons for Affirming Bello’s Election in Kogi


‎The supreme Court, Friday, gave reasons for rejecting the application by chief James Abiodun Faleke, the deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), l in last year Governorship election in kogi state, to upturn the election of Yahaya Bello.
The Apex said Faleke cannot be declared the winner of the poll because the law did not support his application.
The court, among others, said that Falake, whose joint ticket with the governorship candidate of the party, Late Prince Abubakar Audu, had garnered 240,873 votes before Audu died, cannot benefit from the vote or take the place of Audu, because he did not meet the condition precedent.
In the reasons, advanced for the summary judgment, delivered on September 20th, Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun, held that Falake did not obtain nomination form, did not participate in the primary election and as such, cannot under any circumstances, be made the governorship candidate to replace audu.
Besides, Justice Kekere-Ekun, said that before the sudden death of Audu, after the November 21 governorship election, the Independent National Electoral Commission, had already declared the election inconclusive and that since the election, had not been completed and the final result issued by the electoral body, Faleke, as a running mate, cannot claim ‎victory in the election.
The apex court upheld the substitution of Bello to replace Audu because in the face of the law, Bello obtained nomination form, took part in the primary election and came second, unlike Faleke who did not meet that condition.
The Supreme Court said that by virtue of section 221 of the 1991 constitution, Bello, having become candidate of APC, and legally sponsored by the same party, in the face of the law, can lay claim to the votes of 240,867 cast ffor the party in the November 21, 2015 election.
The apex court said that the provision of Section 221, was clear that it is political parties that canvasses votes and be voted for in the Nigerian Election and that it is only candidates duly sponsored by political parties, that cann lay claim to such votes of their parties.
In the instant case, the court insisted that Falake, having not being sponsored as a governorship candidate, by APC, in the supplementary election, of December 5, cannot lay claim to the votes of November 21 and the final result.
The Court therefore dismissed the petition by Falake for lacking in merit and upheld the nomination of Bello as a replacement for Audu and his subsequent declaration by INEC as the duly elected Governor of Kogi State.

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