Tribunal throws out Wada’s case, reaffirms Bello as Kogi Gov

Tribunal throws out Wada’s case, reaffirms Bello as Kogi Gov
June 07 15:40 2016

By Bologi Muhammed Maikudi

The Kogi State Governorship Election Tribunal
sitting in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed a petition
brought before it by the former
governor of the state, Capt Idris Wada (rtd), challenging
the emergence of Yahaya Bello as governor.

Wada in his petition had also asked the tribunal to declare him the legally elected governor of the state.

Bello was nominated by his party, the All
Progressives Congress, APC, to replace Prince
Abubakar Audu who died before the completion of counting in the November 21 poll, though he was coasting to victory before his sudden death.

After his death, INEC declared the election
inconclusive and asked APC to name a
replacement.

Bello was named the replacement, and he
defeated  Wada in the supplementary
election that held on December 5.

However, Wada challenged the outcome
at the tribunal chaired by Justice Halima
Mohammed.

While   alleging “gross irregularities”,
Wada asked the tribunal to determine whether Bello was qualified to be declared
governor-elect even though he did not take
part in all the electoral processes that led to
the supplementary poll.

He argued that INEC
contravened the electoral law by accepting to
allow the APC to replace the late  Audu
with Bello.

He also argued that Bello went
into the supplementary poll without a valid
running-mate.

The running mate to the late Audu, James
Faleke, had declined to run with  Bello
saying that as the deputy to the late  Audu,
the poll was technically concluded on
November 21.

His own petition against  Bello was earlier
dismissed on Monday for lacking merit.

Justice Mohammed also dismissed Wada’s case, saying he lacked the locust standi to challenge Bello’s emergence.

She said  Bello’s nomination
was in line with the Electoral Act and that
Wada not being a member of the APC , had no
right to challenge the process.

Wada had also urged
the tribunal to reject the nomination of  Bello
as a replacement for the late Audu because it
was done outside the 21-day period allowed
by the Electoral Act.

In her ruling, the tribunal chairperson said
the 21-day period for the substitution of
candidate did not apply in the matter since
Bello “is a member of the APC and having
come second in the primary election earlier
conducted by the party.”