‘Declare me Kogi governor-elect’ | Crisis beckons, as James Faleke writes INEC, APC

The Kogi state governorship crises has unfurled aplenty in just a week since inception.

It all started with the declaration of the Kogi governorship election as inconclusive, owing to the fact that the margin of votes between Audu Abubakar and Governor Idris Wada was lesser than the number of cancelled votes.

While the dust was yet to settle on the prospect of a supplementary election, the death of the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Audu Abubakar, was announced.

Audu’s death birthed a legal logjam that even the best lawyers in the nation could not unravel- until INEC and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, said the APC could go ahead and field another candidate in place of Audu.

Audu’s running mate, James Faleke never showed his hand while all these ensued, until on Thursday, November 26, when APC leaders in the Kogi East Senatorial District nominated the son of Audu Abubakar, as the replacement candidate.

In essence, Mohammed Abubakar was given a free-ride to take his father’s place at the December 5 supplementary election.

Before the news could widely circulate, the running mate came out of the shadows, and he called on INEC to declare him governor-elect.

James Faleke, wrote a letter to INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, pointing out Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution, which made him the elected deputy governor of Kogi State.

Faleke said the electoral commission had no authority under the constitution to declare the election inconclusive.

The deputy governorship candidate also wrote to his party, the APC, advising it not to heed INEC’s directive to conduct another primary election.

Speaking through his lawyer, Wole Olanipekun, he urged the ruling party to support him in achieving his mandate, rather than nominate another candidate.

“In law and logic, no new candidate can inherit or be a beneficiary of the votes already cast, counted and declared by INEC before that candidate was nominated and purportedly sponsored.”

“Assuming without conceding that INEC is even right to order a supplementary election, the votes already cast, counted and declared on Saturday, 25th November 2015, were votes for the joint constitutional ticket of Prince Abubakar Audu and our client.”

“Therefore, no new or ‘supplementary’ candidate can hijack, aggregate, appropriate or inherit the said votes.”

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