Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello may have violated Section 187(1) of the Constitution by contesting the December 5, 2015 election without a running mate, going by the Certified True Copy of Forum CFOO2B issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The constitutional provision stipulates that a governorship candidate cannot be deemed to have been validly nominated by a political party before contesting for the exalted position. The Election Petitions Tribunal begins sitting today.
Section 187(1) states: “In any election to which the foregoing provision of this part of the chapter, a candidate for the office of governor of a state shall not be deemed to have been validly nominated for such office unless he nominates another candidate as his running mate for the office of governor, who is to occupy the office of deputy governor and a candidate shall be deemed duly elected to the office of the deputy governor if the candidate who nominated him is duly elected as the governor in accordance with the provisions.”
The development contradicted a claim by Bello’s party – the All Progressives Congress (APC) – that his names and those of the running mate to the late Prince Abubakar Audu, Hon. James Faleke, were forwarded to INEC for the supplementary election that produced Bello.
Faleke had declined to run with Bello because he felt the election had been won on the first ballot by Audu before the poll was declared inconclusive by INEC.
He communicated his position to INEC Chairman, Prof Mahmud Yakubu and APC National Chairman Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, urging INEC to declare him winner while advising the party against participating in a supplementary election after emerging victorious on November 21.
The CTC INEC 2015 governorship election submission of names of candidates by the APC for the Kogi contained only Bello’s name, his po
INEC which said it heard of the demise of the APC governoship candidate on November 23, had on November 22, declared the November 21 governorship election inconclusive. The late Audu was set to win the poll.
A person duly nominated as a candidate of his party dies before the election, then the political party has the right to replace him.
Section 179 (2) A and B and 181 (1) of the Constitution also say “upon the death of a person duly elected as the governor of a state, the person elected with him as the deputy-governor is to be sworn in as the governor of the state.”
Faleke is urging the tribunal to void Bello’s nomination, the supplementary election that produced him, and declare him as winner based on the November 21 election.