Kogi: Court Gives INEC Permission To Continue Election

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Justice Gabriel Kolawole of Federal High Court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital has dismissed the suit filed before it by Governor Idris Wada of Kogi state as well as that of James Faleke, the running mate of late Abubakar Audu today.

The court also ruled that supplementary elections slated for December 5 in 91 polling units will go ahead as planned.
Kolawole struck out all the suits saying that his court has no jurisdiction to entertain the issues brought as they are post election matters.
He therefore ruled that the issues in the different suits should be taken to the Election Petition Tribunal for determination when it is constituted.
The Judge also ruled that the issue of the legality or otherwise of the supplementary poll can also be determined by the Tribunal. He therefore ruled that the supplementary election should go ahead as planned by INEC.

In his suit, Wada approached the court, urging it, to order the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to declare him winner of the November 21 November gubernatorial election that was declared inconclusive by INEC.

Wada who was second to late Audu in the polls argued that since Audu is dead, he should be declared winner and given a certificate of return.
Similarly, Faleke approached the court arguing that since he was running mate to late Audu, he deserves to run as the candidate of his party, the All Progressives Congress.
INEC had stated that APC had the powers to choose a candidate to replace Audu because it was the party process that produced the late Audu as its candidate.
Yahaya Bello who finished behind Audu in the primaries was picked by the party as his replacement for the supplementary polls.


In the suit by Faleke, he argued that INEC’s decision was wrong. He therefore asked the court to among others compel INEC to declare his joint ticket with the late Abubakar Audu winner of the election and to restrain it (INEC) from proceeding with its planned supplementary election.
In the second suit, Governor Wada who is also the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party asked the court to compel INEC to declare him winner of the election, on the ground that he is the only surviving candidate in the election who scored the second highest votes after the deceased candidate of the APC.

The third suit was filed by Emanuel Daiko, who claimed to have contested the election as a candidate of the People for Democratic Change (PDC) and wants the court to among others hold the supplementary election as illegal, prevent APC from substituting its deceased candidate and to prevent APC from participating in the election on the ground that it no longer has a candidate.

In the fourth suit, Raphael Igbokwe a member of the House of Representatives from Imo State and Stephen Wada Omaye want the court to annul the November 21 election and conduct a fresh one. It has INEC and APC as defendants.

In the fifth suit, one Johnson Jacob Usman who said he is an indigene of Kogi State as well as a registered voter and a lawyer seeks to among others, compel INEC to suspend all actions in relation to the election pending the determination of the suit and a declaration that the election ought to be cancelled. It has the AGF and INEC as defendants.


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