Appeal Court upholds Yahaya Bello’s election as Kogi governor

Court of Appeal on Thursday upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the duly elected governor of Kogi State.
Details of the judgment is still sketchy, but our reporter covering the case said Mr. Bello prevailed in the appeal brought against him by James Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives.
We will provide details in our coming updates.
Mr. Faleke challenged the emergence of Mr. Bello as governor and asked the tribunal to declare him governor because the election of late Abubakar Audu was almost concluded before he died.
Mr. Bello was nominated by the APC to replace its late candidate, Mr. Audu.
Mr. Faleke ran as deputy governorship candidate with Mr. Audu and they were coasting to victory before Mr. Audu suddenly died.
INEC declared the election inconclusive and asked the APC to nominate a replacement for the deceased. Mr. Bello was nominated and he nominated Mr. Faleke as his deputy, an offer the latter refused.
But on June 6, the Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, dismissed Mr. Faleke’s petition, saying the lawmaker was unable to prove his case.

The tribunal said the fact that INEC declared the first election held on November 21, 2015 inconclusive meant no governor or deputy governor-elect had emerged.
It also averred that all votes cast belong to political parties, “it is the political party, through the instrumentality of its candidate that runs for election.”
The tribunal said Mr. Faleke therefore lacked the locus standi to challenge the nomination of Mr. Bello to replace the late Mr. Audu since he was never a deputy governor-elect.
The tribunal therefore, threw away his petition as lacking in merit.
“No right can accrue from an inconclusive election,” it said.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Mr. Faleke headed to the appellate court, which has now thrown out his appeal.

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