The Supreme Court Of Nigeria, today 20 September, upheld the election of Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State while dismissing the appeal of Mr. James Faleke and Captain Idris Wada.
The reason for its decision will be provided on September 30, 2016. The seven man panel headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata affirmed the election after listening to the arguments canvassed by learned counsel during the adoption of their brief of arguments.
Thus, the Supreme Court’s decision brings to an end the speculations on the removal of Yahaya Bello as the Governor of Kogi State. It also brings to an end what a colleague describes as an “epic battle” for the seat of the highest office in Kogi State.
Given the peculiar circumstances of the case which involved the death of a candidate- Prince Abubakar Audu in the process of the elections, provoked questions such as; if it is possible for a candidate to inherit votes ? Whether INEC declared the election inconclusive because of the death of the candidate Prince Abubakar Audu? or because election was yet to be conducted in 91 units? These questions formed some of the arguments canvassed at the Supreme Court by Olanipekun SAN, Chief Olujinmi and others.
Also one unique question from the Supreme Court was “Who contested an election?”
Joseph Dauda SAN generously provided the answer “that it is a political party as there is no provision in our Constitution for an independent candidate.”
It would be interesting to read the reasons for the decision of the Apex Court as this case has become a landmark decision in electoral matters in legal practice and in Nigeria.
Written by Flora Martins