– At the court of appeal, James Faleke accused the electoral body, INEC, of abusing its independent powers concerning the last Kogi election
– He further said Bello has no business being a governor in Kogi state since he was never registered as a voter
– The lead judge in the case reserved judgement for a later date which will be communicated to parties involved
Embattled running mate of late Abubakar Audu in the last Kogi gubernatorial election, James Falake, has alleged that the present governor Yahaya Bello is not a registered voter in the state.
Faleke does not seem to accept that Bello actually won the election
Speaking at the Court of Appeal through his counsel, James Faleke said Bello has no business being a governor in Kogi state since he was never registered as a voter.
Faleke’s counsel, Wole Olanikpekun said: “My lord, as I want to make this submission as a senior lawyer that the second respondent is not a registered voter.”
“This is the first time in this country that an unregistered individual is brought into office.”
Olanikpekun accused the electoral body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), of abusing its independent powers in the last Kogi election.
“INEC has demonstrated partisanship, the man didn’t vote, the man is not a registered voter and he was admitted into office,” he said.
Representing the first respondent’s counsel, Alex Iziyion informed the court their brief had been filed.
He urged the court to dismiss into to the appeal of Faleke.
He said there is no dispute that the appellant belonged to the same political party as the second respondent adding that the appellant ought to have filed a petition within 21 days of the election.
He said if as at November 21, 2015, INEC which present as the empire that declared the election inconclusive should be a fundamental issue for the appellant to orchestrate his petition.
Iziyion said INEC reserved thestatutory powers to make decisions on any election.
Also, Joseph Daudu, counsel to the second respondent urged the court to dismiss the appellant’s appeal.
Daudu said the tribunal dealt with the issue of locus standi on the matter adding that Faleke lost all his claims at the death of Audu especially after INEC had asked the party to produce a substitute.
Daudu maintained that Faleke was never a known candidate for the election.
He also said that being a registered voter or not being one is not a point on which this matter can be challenged.
Replying on point of law, Olanikpekun said there was no need to petition until a return was issued.
Having heard all submissions and replies, the lead judge reserved judgement for a later date which will be communicated to parties involved.
Faleke in an application had queried an election tribunal’s decision to uphold the emergence of Bello as the governor of Kogi state.
On November 21, 2015, the death of the All Progressives Congress (APC) flag bearer of state, Abubakar Audu, led to the declaration an inconclusive election in the state.
The APc was later directed by INEC to produce a substitute for Audu, a decision which Falake is contending.
Falake in his applications has said as the running mate to Audu he should have been automatically declared the winner instead of declaring an almost concluded election inconclusive.