Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, on Thursday, beat other contestants to emerge the All Progressives Congress’ governorship candidate for the Nov. 16, 2019, gubernatorial election in the state.
Bello won the party’s primary with 3,127 out of 3,596 votes cast by the delegates. It was gathered that a total of 3,596 delegates out of 3,838, were accredited for the primary.
Ten aspirants were cleared by the APC national working committee to contest in the primary election.
The primary did not go without rancour as Hassan Bewa, one of the governorship aspirants staged a walkout from the Confluence Stadium, Lokoja venue of the primary, alleging that the primary has been compromised.
Bewa, a serving member of the House of Representative representing Dekina /Bassa Federal Constituency, said that he could not cope with the level of manipulation going on at the venue.
Asked to be specific, Bewa said that he was taken aback when nearly all delegates claimed to be illiterates who could not read or write.
He said that all efforts to complain to officials failed while the security officials present chased him away.
Asked what he plans to do next, Bewa said he had started consultation with his supporters and would communicate his decisions in due course.
Meanwhile, Justice Abdul Awulu, Federal High Court in Lokoja, on Thursday, dismissed an ex-parte application to stop the governorship primay in the state.
Ruling in the application filed by Alhaji Mustapha Audu, a governorship aspirant, Justice Awulu, held that the court cannot stop the primary by order.
The aspirant filed an ex-parte application before the vacation judge “pursuant to section 6(6)a and (b) of the 1999 constitution and Order 11 rule 7, sub 1 & 2 of the Kogi (Civil Procedure)5 Rules 2006.”
Audu had earlier threatened to drag the party to court after being disqualified by the screening panel headed by Hope Uzodinma.
Mustapha, who is one of the sons of the former governor of the state, Abubakar Audu, said he was disqualified based on how his name was spelt on his secondary school certificate.
In the originating summons of the suit No HCL/34/2019 and dated 28th August, 2019 the appellant based his application among other grounds, that the exclusion of his name from the governorship aspirants’ list of the APC was a breach of his right and that the conduct of the screening exercise by the party was in breach of the party’s constitution.
He therefore urged the court to direct that he be included as one of the aspirants contesting the primary election and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants from conducting the primary without including his name.
He said he would suffer irreparable loss if the defendants were not restrained from conducting the primary election.
The motion was supported by a 15- paragraph affidavit deposed to by the applicant himself, with another seven-paragraph affidavit of urgency.
His counsel, D. D. Dugbanya, said he would rely on the affidavits and adopted the written address filed along with the motion.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Awulu, after listening to Dugbanya, declined the application to stop the conduct of the governorship primary election.
He stated: “I have perused the application vis-à-vis the affidavits in support and of urgency along with the written address of counsel.
“I have refrained from raising the issue of jurisdiction suo moto at this stage to prevent an entry into the arena. Let me save that until the motion on notice.
“However, the issue to resolve is whether a court can restrain by an order of injunction the holding of a primary election by a political party.
“This is my view and I so hold that the holding or conducting primary election by a political party cannot be stopped by an order of injunction”.