The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has upheld Mr. Yahaya Bello as Governor of Kogi State after it dismissed the suit filed by Mr. James Faleke, challenging his election.
The 5-man panel of the Court of Appeal on Thursday dismissed Faleke’s case, on grounds that it lacks merit.
James Faleke, who was the running mate to late Abubakar Audu, gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21, 2015 election, had approached the Tribunal seeking his declaration as the valid candidate of the party for the election and his declaration as Governor.
The tribunal had on Monday June 6, dismissed his petition, stating that lacked locus standi to challenge Bello’s election, since he was never sponsored by his party, the APC, as a governorship candidate in both the November 21, 2015 election and the December 6, 2015 supplementary poll respectively.
Still dissatisfied with the ruling, Faleke proceeded to the appellate court who after hearing submission from all parties involved in the matter reserved the judgment till today.
James Faleke, had through his counsel, Akin Olujimi, urged the Appeal Court to set aside the decision of the Kogi election tribunal and invalidate the election of Yahaya Bello on the ground that Bello was not properly nominated.
He also stated that Bello did not undergo all the electioneering processes as required by law before he emerged as his party’s candidate in the re-run election.
Counsel to Governor Yahaya Bello, Joseph Daodu, however argued that the issue of nomination of candidates for election was the sole responsibility of a political party and his client having been nominated by the APC in compliance with the existing law and authority of the party remained the candidate of his party in the election.
Counsel for INEC, Ahmed Raji, asked the court to uphold the election of Yahaya Bello on the ground that he was properly nominated by APC as a replacement to Abubakar Audu who passed away during the election.