Kogi APC leaders name Audu’s son governorship candidate as Faleke kicks against fresh primary

Mohammed Audu

Leaders of All Progressives Congress (APC), in Kogi East Senatorial District have nominated Mohammed Audu, 43, first son of late Prince Abubakar Audu, to replace him as the party’ s governorship candidate.

The leaders, stakeholders and delegates who made this known in Lokoja on Thursday after a marathon meeting, said they arrived at the decision after due consultations .

Their spokesman, Daniel Isah, the Vice Chairman of APC in Kogi East, said they have resolved and are determined to back Mohammed to replace his father if the National Working Committee orders fresh primaries.

Isah thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC national leadership for the opportunity given to them to find a replacement for Audu who died on November 23 at Ogbonicha, Ofu Local Government.

He appealed to the national leadership of the party to give their decision utmost consideration and approval in the overall interest of the party and the state.

Present at the meeting were Alhaji Lincho Ocheje, Hon. Hassan Omale, Hon. Benjamin Ikhani, and Senator Emmanuel Dangana, among others.

Audu senior, 68, died on Sunday just as he was leading in the Kogi governorship election held the day before.

His running-mate in the election which was declared inconclusive by INEC, James Faleke, on Thursday wrote a letter to the electoral body’s chairman, Mahmood Yakubu, insisting that under Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution, he was duly elected as deputy governor.

While expressing sadness over Audu’s death, the House of Representatives member said INEC was wrong to declare the election inconclusive.

He accused INEC of deliberately creating what he called “legal conundrum” and urged the APC not to be a party to the action.

“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 his counsel, Wole 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 the 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 the election had already being won and lost, and that the party should rather support him in actualising the mandate already given to APC and its candidates.

The national leadership of the APC will announce the party’s candidate for the supplementary poll after a primary election.