The Court of Appeal has upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the validly elected governor of Kogi State.
Governor Bello’s electoral victory is being challenged by James Faleke, a sitting house of representatives member and former running mate to Audu Abubakar.
Audu Abubakar was the initial governorship candidate for the All Progressives Congress, APC in the election that held in November 2015, and was already coasting to victory before he died suddenly with the elections yet to be concluded.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC then asked the APC to nominate a replacement for the deceased and Bello, who had come second in the APC governorship primary, was nominated but Faleke refused to be his deputy, insisting that he should be the Governorship candidate.
He challenged the emergence of Bello as governor and asked the tribunal to declare him, Faleke, governor.
But on June 6, the Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, dismissed Faleke’s petition, saying the lawmaker was unable to prove his case.
It also held that all votes cast belong to political parties, “it is the political party, through the instrumentality of its candidate that runs for election”, adding that Faleke lacked the locus standi to challenge the election results since he was never a deputy governor-elect.
Faleke appealed the tribunal’s judgement and the appeal has now been thrown out.