Yahaya Bello

Kogi Election: What Court Said About Disqualifying Yahaya Bello

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday has rejected the request to hear a suit seeking the disqualification of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello from participating the Kogi governorship election scheduled for November 16.

In a ruling on Friday, October 25, Justice Ijoema Ojukwu, elected to transfer the suit filed by Natasha Akpoti, an aspirant on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), to the court’s Lokoja division.

It was gathered that Akpoti, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/122/2019, claimed that Bello engaged in double registration as a voter in 2011 and 2017 and asked the court to bar him from contesting election for any public office for 10 years.

The plaintiff’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who filed the suit on her behalf, contended that Bello’s act of double registration as a voter, grossly violated section 24(e) of the Electoral Act.

Apart from disqualification, the plaintiff also asked the court to bar Bello, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming poll, from holding public office for 10 years.

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She also prayed for another order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to “thoroughly investigate the act of double registration” and “to immediately prosecute him upon the expiration of his first tenure of office as governor of Kogi State in January 2020”.

Her lawyer, Ozekhome, in the Originating Summons, argued as part of the grounds of the suit, that, “by his willful act of making double registration”, Bello as APC’s candidate, “is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant (INEC) to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election, having committed acts of electoral fraud”.

Meanwhile, Newsflash247 had earlier reported that the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday has rejected two governorship candidates in the forthcoming Kogi election.

The court upheld the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC decision to reject the candidates of the Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN) and the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).

Presiding judge in the case, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, reportedly delivered two judgments on Friday, October 25, affirming INEC’s decision to reject the candidates.

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The court’s decision was based on the grounds that they were statute barred.

According to Justice Ojukwu, INEC took its decision based on its constitutional powers to reject the candidates after finding that both parties failed to comply with its deadline for the submission of candidates’ lists and nomination forms.

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