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Appeal Court upholds Yahaya Bello’s election

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Appeal Court upholds Yahaya Bello’s election

Oba Darasimi

The Abuja division of the Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the election of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

In a unanimous judgment, the appellate court dismissed the appeal instituted by Michael Elokun, Ibrahim Sule and Hauwa Audi against Yahaya Bello for lacking in merit.

The  three-member panel of Justices of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Stephen Adah insisted  that the appellants  were neither members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) nor aspirants in the primary election that produced Yahaya Bello and therefore  have no locus standi to institute the action.

Consequently, it upheld the judgment of Justice John Tsoho.

Justice Tsoho had in his judgment delivered in 2018 dismissed the suit for want of jurisdiction.

Not satisfied, the appellants approached the Court of Appeal for the setting aside the judgment of the lower court.

But Justice Adah who read the lead judgment of the Court of Appeal,  further held that the suit of the appellants was filed outside the mandatory statutory time frame having been filed one year after the Kogi state governorship election.

The court specifically noted that the election been challenged by the appellants was held in 2015 and the plaintiffs, at the lower court filed their suit in 2016, making the suit incompetent in the face of the law.

Justice Adah equally agreed with the trial court that the plaintiffs had no sufficient interest in the Kogi state governorship election to warrant them institute the suit.

The Court of Appeal then upheld the judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja which, dismissed the plaintiffs’ suit for lack of jurisdiction as they have no locus standi to file the action.

Justice Adah, who read the unanimous judgment said that, it is the political party that has the power to nominate a candidate for the party and added that, “We have nothing to add to the decision of the lower court on the issue of locus standi of the appellants.

“The appellants have not sufficiently shown any interest in the Kogi state governorship seat to challenge the decision of the lower court. The decision of the lower court is hereby affirmed”, Justice Adah stated and consequently dismissed the appeal.

It will be recalled that Justice John Tsoho had, in 2018, dismissed the suit on grounds that the plaintiffs, Elokun, Sule and Audi had no business instituting the case. The plaintiffs were asking the court to grant an order for the return and immediate swearing-in of Idris Wada, former governor of the state.

Tsoho, in his judgment, upheld the objection of Yahaya Bello that the plaintiffs had no “locus standi” to institute the action.

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