Faleke sues INEC, asks court to declare him Kogi governor-elect

Deputy governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 21 election in Kogi State, James Faleke, on Tuesday filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, demanding his declaration as governor-elect.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the election inconclusive and ordered a supplementary election which will hold on December 5.

Faleke had threatened to go to court following the adoption of Yahaya Bello by the APC national leadership as the governorship candidate of the party in the supplementary election.

Mr. Bello’s adoption at the meeting of the National Working Committee of the party followed the death of the former governorship candidate, Abubakar Audu, on November 22.

The party immediately forwarded his name to INEC as replacement for Mr. Audu and that of Mr. Faleke as his running mate.

In the suit filed by his counsel, Wole Olanipekun, Faleke, a serving member of the House of Representatives, said contrary to the claim by the electoral body, the election was conclusive and that as the running mate to Mr. Audu, he should be declared winner.

The court papers were served on INEC Tuesday afternoon, Faleke said.

Faleke has demanded that INEC remove his name as running mate to Bello in the supplementary election.

The deputy governorship candidate had written INEC on November 26, insisting that he was the governor-elect following Audu’s death.

He asked the Commission not to go ahead with the supplementary election.

“In law and logic, no new candidate can inherit or be a beneficiary of the votes already cast, counted and declared by INEC before that candidate was nominated and purportedly sponsored,” Mr. Faleke wrote through Mr. Olanipekun.

“Assuming without conceding that INEC is even right to order a supplementary election, the votes already cast, counted and declared on Saturday, 25th November 2015, were votes for the joint constitutional ticket of Prince Abubakar Audu and our client.

“Therefore, no new or ‘supplementary’ candidate can hijack, aggregate, appropriate or inherit the said votes.”

In another letter to APC Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, Faleke urged his party to distance itself from the “Greek Gift” being offered to it to nominate a new candidate for a planned supplementary election in 91 polling units. He said

He added that the election had already been won and lost, and that the party should rather support him in actualizing the mandate already given to APC and its candidates.

According to the result declared by INEC, Audu had the highest number of votes thus leading the 21 other candidates, including the incumbent Governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, who is the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).