Friday, 4 December 2015

Finally! Court Arrives At Decision On Kogi Election

Finally! Court Arrives At Decision On Kogi Election...
A Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday, December 4, gave the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) permission to continue the supplementary election in Kogi state.

Ruling on four suits filed before the court, Gabriel Kolawole said while the Federal High Court lacks the jurisdiction to hear the case, INEC should continue with the supplementary election in 91 polling units as scheduled.

Kolawole also said that after the election, any grievances arising should be directed to the governorship election tribunal.

He also wondered why individuals quickly run to the federal or state high courts in cases of intra-party disputes.

wole said only the election tribunal can entertain the case.

He also advised the political parties to either approach the tribunal or address the intra-party issues among the political parties.

In addition, Kolawale  struck out the suits by the present  governor, Idris Wada and running mate to the late Prince Audu Abubakar, James Falake.

The judge in his ruling said both Faleke’s and Wada’s cases lacked merit.

On Thursday, December 3, ruling on the matter was adjourned after parties involved adopted all final written addresses on legal submissions and applications following the death of the flag bearer of the Kogi state All Progressives Congress (APC) gubernatorial election, Abubakar Audu.

James Faleke, the party’s candidate for deputy governor had filed a suit over the decision of the INEC to declare the Saturday, November 21, Kogi election inconclusive.

Faleke asked to court to compel the electoral body to declare his joint ticket with the late governorship candidate winner of the election.

He also asked the court to stop the INEC from conducting a supplementary election in 91 polling units as scheduled for Saturday, December 5.

The present governor of the state, Idris Wada, who is also the flag bearer for the PDP in a suit asked the court to declare him the winner of the election

Wada buttressed his suit on the grounds that he is the second runner in the election and got the highest vote after the late APC candidate.

Also, the candidate for the People for Democratic Change (PDC), Emmanuel Daiko in a third suit queried the need for a supplementary election. He asked the court to order the INEC to conduct a fresh election in the state.

Daiko said it should be illegal for the APC to substitute its deceased candidate. His suit is supported by a fourth one filed by Raphael Igbokwe, a PDP member of the House of representative from Imo state.

Contrary to all four suits, a fifth one filed by a lawyer Johnson Usman asked the court to compel the electoral body to stop all electoral activities in the state pending the determination of the suits.

Following the Federal High Court verdict, the stage is now set for the supplementary election tomorrow, December 5, as the APC’s substitute candidate, Yahaya Bello go head-to-head against the PDP’s candidate Governor Idris Wada and other candidates.

The APC picked Yahaya Bello as its replacement for Late Prince Abubakar Audu, who died on Sunday, November 22, and was buried on Monday, November 23,according to Muslim rites.

The late APC governorship candidate was leading his opponent Captain Idris Wada of the PDP by 41,353 votes. The INEC declared the poll inconclusive and scheduled a supplementary election in 91 polling units for Saturday, December 5.