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Kogi poll: Court to rule on all pending suits, Friday

The Nigerian Justice System
The Nigerian Justice System

Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court in Abuja has said that he will on Friday deliver judgement in all suits involving Kogi governorship election 24 hours before the scheduled supplementary poll on Saturday, December 5.

When the case came up Tuesday, all the parties in the suit agreed to consolidate the suits to enable the court deliver one judgement.

Governor Idris Wada had filed a suit, asking the court to declare him as the winner of the November 21 governorship election.

Another set of plaintiffs, Johnson Usman, Emmanuel Daikwo and Emmanuel Igbokwe, have filed legal action, asking the court to conduct a fresh governorship election in the state.

The deputy governorship candidate of the APC during the inconclusive poll, Hon Abiodun Faleke, has also filed a suit asking the court to declare him the governor-elect on the grounds that he has a joint ticket with the late Abubakar Audu, having recorded the highest votes during the election.

INEC had on November 22, declared the November 21 election inconclusive and announced that a supplementary election would be conducted to determine a clear winner.

The APC governorship candidate in the election, Prince Abubakar Audu, who was leading by a margin of 41,000 votes, died after the election was declared inconclusive.

During the proceedings Tuesday, three issues were formulated by parties in the suit.

First, the court is being asked to determine whether having regard to the provisions of Section 31(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7) and 8, 33, 34, 36, 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) as well Sections 178-181 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), INEC can lawfully conduct a second/supplementary election into the office of the governor of Kogi State on December 5, 2015, or any other date at all let alone accepting the nomination/substitution by the All Progressive Congress (APC) when the new or substitute candidate was not part of the original election.

The plaintiffs also want the court to decide whether in view of the provision of Section 178(2)(3)(4)(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and other enabling provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and having regard to the doctrine of necessity, the plaintiff being the only surviving candidate with the major of lawful votes cast at the Kogi State governorship election held on November 21, 2015 ought not to be declared and returned by the INEC as the winner of the election having secured not less than one-quarter of the votes cast in two-thirds of all Local Government Areas in Kogi state.

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