LIVE BLOG: Will Supreme Court sack Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello?

Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello
Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

The Supreme Court will in the next few hours determine the fate of the Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello.

While there are five appeals against the Court of Appeal rulings, in summary, the Supreme Court will decide if Mr. Bello should continue as Kogi governor or vacate office.

One of those appeals is by the immediate past governor of the state and candidate of the opposition PDP, Idris Wada. Another is by James Faleke who was the deputy governorship candidate to late Abubakar Audu who died before the final announcement of results by the electoral commission, INEC.

While the ruling APC replaced late Mr. Audu with Mr. Bello, Mr. Faleke believes he should have automatically become the party’s governorship candidate and eventual governor after the death of his principal

Whatever verdict by the Supreme Court today will be the final decision on the controversy that has lingered for several months.


Supporters of the various parties to the case are already in court, many of them from Kogi State.

Many of the supporters arrived Abuja on Monday, an aide to Mr. Bello said.

Women supporters of Yahaya Bello at the court
Women supporters of Yahaya Bello at the court

Parties in the suit have mentioned appearances to the court.

Wale Olanikpekun is representing Mr. Faleke while Alex Izinyon represents INEC.

Joseph Daudu represents Yahaya Bello while the representative of the Labour party is yet to be mentioned.

All the lawyers mentioned so far are Senior Advocates of Nigeria.

Another Senior Advocate, Akin Olujinmi, also represents INEC.

Justice Sylvester Ngwata leads six other justices of the Supreme Court to decide the case.

Alex Izinyon, INEC counsel, said he notes the peculiarity of the case. He asks the court to take cognisance of Section 141 of the Electoral Act to determine if Mr. Faleke has taken full part in the election. He says the section deals in full participation of the candidate.

Women supporters of Yahaya Bello at the court
A banner in show of support for Yahaya Bello at the court

Mr. Iziyon says votes cast cannot be inherited.

After the submissions of Mr. Izinyon, Joseph Daudu, counsel to Governor Bello said the application should be dismissed.

He said the three grounds mentioned by Mr. Izinyon, that Mr. Bello was not elected by majority of voters, that he was not qualified to have emerged candidate, and that the electoral procedure was not followed have not been proven by Mr. Izinyon.

Alex Izinyon had stated in his closing statement that “He (Mr. Bello) was a stranger who suddenly got automatic ticket; that’s why he needs to be removed.”

Mr. Daudu argues that APC and the candidate it chooses has the right to inherit all what was owned by late Mr. Audu.

“Even his wife,” he adds jokingly.

Mr. Daudu says it is the election tribunal that has the right to decide whether a person has participated in an election or not.

Mr. Daudu says Section 221 of the constitution allows that it is the political party that contests elections.

It was one and the same election. The election of November 21 was only declared inconclusive and then concluded on December 5, Mr. Daudu, Governor Bello’s counsel says.

“The beneficiary of the votes in both elections are Yahaya Bello,” Mr. Daudu tells the court.

Akin Olujinmi representing APC says Section 33 of the Electoral Act allows a party to substitute a dead candidate.

When asked by one of the judges to explain what he understands by a candidate, Mr. Olujinmi said: “My lord, candidate is a candidate” causing laughter in the court room.

Alex Izinyon takes the floor again. He says the court should adopt his previous arguments asking for the sack of Yahaya Bello.

He argues that Section 141 of the Electoral Act should be tied to Section 138 of the same Act.

Mr. Izinyon said court records show that Mr. Faleke remained the deputy governorship candidate of the APC.
The party and the candidate are inseparable as far as both of them are alive, he said.

Chris Uche, representing Idris Wada, said the law states that nobody other than a political party should canvass votes for a candidate.

Mr. Uche argued that the Supreme Court never allowed a party to appoint another person to represent a dead candidate.

He said a candidate can only be regarded as having participated in an election if he takes full part in the entire process.

The PDP candidate’s counsel said the problem his client has is that the substitution did not take place before the entire election.

When asked whether candidates vote as individuals or candidates, Mr. Uche said voters also look out for a candidate.

“A party needs a candidate to conduct an election. The party cannot just bring a person to come and inherit the votes of another person,” Mr. Uche told the court.

‎After the argument of Chris Uche, Mr. Wada’s counsel, the court has gone on recess.

The recess is over and the judges are back. The court sitting continues

A woman bangs the door several times in an attempt to enter the court after the door was closed by security officials.

The presiding judge asks that everyone be allowed in so that there will be silence.

A party to the matter, the Africa Democratic Party, through its lawyer, Maduabuchi Oba, said the law allows that a person who emerged winner must have participated in all elections in the whole of Kogi

“Votes cast are not APC votes but the people’s votes for APC. So, after the substitution, they should have started afresh,” Mr. Oba said.

On the importance of a candidate, Mr. Oba says without Muhammadu Buhari, the APC would not have won the presidency.

Joseph Daudu takes the floor again after Mr. Oba’s submission.

Mr. Daudu says no matter how juicy the arguments of counsel are, the law supersedes arguments.

Sulaiman Islam, counsel to the Labour Party, is introducing a new motion to the court.

He said the motion was filed on August 16.

He asks the court to allow the new motion.

The Labour Party lawyer said the main grounds of arguments raised by his counsel was neglected at the lower court.

‎The presiding judge, Justice Sylvester, asked the Labour Party lawyer if he appealed the order of the lower court. He answered in the negative.

The court held that since he did not appeal the ruling, he was deemed to have accepted the decision of the lower court.

The Labour Party candidate said he did appeal but did not do so immediately.

‎Ayotunde Ogunleye, a counsel to APC, said grounds 1 to 4 of the the appellants appeal were made after the time the law allows for such motions to be filed.

Mr. Ogunleye said grounds 5 to 22 are direct appeals against the tribunal. He said the appellants did not make any appeal at the lower court‎, they only came to the Supreme Court to contest the tribunal’s decision.

‎Mr. Ogunleye said substitution has already been decided by Section 177 of the constitution.

He said previous court rulings have shown that votes belong to political parties.

“No contrary decision has been made to set aside that decision. The APC won on November 21, and the APC concluded its winning on December 5,” he said.

‎The presiding judge drew INEC lawyer’s attention to an issue. He asked that the lawyer clarifies the seeming controversy about the place of INEC as a party to the matter.

He noted that the two lower courts had in their rulings removed INEC from being a party to the matter.

The judge then asked why INEC appeared before the Apex court as a party without deciding to appeal the judgement first.

‎The court has gone on another recess. No reason was given for this recess.

Chris Uche
Joseph Daudu
Joseph Daudu

The Court also dismissed the appeals challenging INEC’s decision to return Mr. Bello.

The court also dismissed the application by the Africa Democratic Congress challenging the qualification of Mr. Bello. A similar application by the Labour Party was also struck out.

Some attendees at the court, obviously unhappy about the election are seen walking out.

The court session comes to an end.

Thank you for following our live update.

Editors Note

In the live blog we ran on Tuesday’s Supreme Court’s session on the Kogi governorship appeal, we erroneously attributed the following statements to the counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Alex Izinyon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

*Alex Izinyon, INEC counsel, said he notes the peculiarity of the case. He asks the court to take cognisance of Section 141 of the Electoral Act to determine if Mr. Faleke has taken full part in the election. He says the section deals in full participation of the candidate.

*Alex Izinyon had stated in his closing statement that “He (Mr. Bello) was a stranger who suddenly got automatic ticket; that’s why he needs to be removed.

*Alex Izinyon takes the floor again. He says the court should adopt his previous arguments asking for the sack of Yahaya Bello.

*He argues that Section 141 of the Electoral Act should be tied to Section 138 of the same Act.
We have since clarified that the statements were not made by Mr. Izinyon but by Chris Uche, Senior Advocate of Nigeria and counsel to ex-Governor Idris Wada.
Similarly, the statement “When asked by one of the judges to explain what he understands by a candidate, Mr. Olujinmi said: “My lord, candidate is a candidate” causing laughter in the court room.

We also clarified that it was not Akin Olujimi, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who was the counsel to the All Progressives Congress, APC, that responded to the question but one of the justices of the Supreme Court who responded to his colleague.

We regret the embarrassment this mix-ups caused Messrs. Izinyon and Olujimi.

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  • Darlington

    The logical judgement that can emanate from Supreme Court today is outright cancellation of Bello’s election and subsequent order for fresh one. Bello has no legal or constitutional back to inherit Audu/Faleke’s votes. He was not properly nominated as governorship candidate of the APC. He concluded the election without a substantial deputy governorship candidate. Gov. Bello has so many “sins” which can’t be ignored by the Apex Court. Supreme Court will use this case to set another judicial precedent that will help to enrich our young democracy. Can’t just wait….

    • LasgidyPort

      Relax na….you’ll soon hear the verdict from the Supreme court.

      • Hrf Mayowa Oloke

        Honestly we can’t wait…

    • Carlos

      Sir, I repeat before this forum which is a very matured forum that Mr Bello is a stranger, mercenary and busy body in Kogi State election process.

  • Marcus Ijele

    Bello the thief.

    • Hrf Mayowa Oloke

      C’mon we know better than that not to call names, we are all pained…

      • Marcus Ijele

        Ok, but the pains should be healed by the act of right thing.

  • kusanagi

    The Supreme Court will back whoever paid the most in bribes. That’s the reality of this doomed nation Nigeria.

    • Carlos

      Not true. Stop making unfounded accusations.

  • fatai

    I feeel strongly that since the Kogi case has no precedent, and given some of the recent “pragmatic” decisions of the apex court, Bello WILL retain his seat!

    • nafsat

      going by the previous judgments of the apex court, no sitting Governor has ever lost his case since the beginning of these 2015 election cases.

      • Carlos

        Today will be a game changer. I will be in touch again after the judgment.

  • endipin

    If Faleke cannot inherit Audu’s vote, how can Bello, who is an interloper do? Sounds very ridiculous argument from my good old Friend Alex.

    • Carlos

      Again. Good talk. Mr Bello is a stranger, mercenary and a busy body in Kogi State election process.

      • endipin

        Okay o. God dey o.

  • bungo man Buhari

    This guy is the main abina of Aisha Buhari–so no judge on earth can stop him from continuing with his exploits of the laps of madam Halliburton————–so forget the matter at hand for Martha

  • vagabonds in power

    Didn’t the APC market itself as the party with the capacity to save Nigeria from the ruination caused by the PDP? Why are they now in Court? At what point did the party realise that governing Nigeria was not just a difficult task but an impossibility as we heard Oni former Ekiti governor say recently? And if governing Nigeria has become impossible, why is the APC still in office? Shouldn’t it step down to allow people who believe that turning Nigeria’s fortunes around for good is still a possibility, no matter how daunting the task, to govern?

    Perhaps, these APC jokers do not know or may have conveniently forgotten. They are in office because they told Nigerians they will do the job and deliver on their promises. Nigerians will hold them accountable.

    Deflecting attention by pointing fingers of blame at the PDP is a no-brainer. Nigerians gave their verdict on the PDP more than a year ago. So, the joke is no longer on the PDP, it is on the APC. And no matter how hard the APC tries to obfuscate issues, one thing is certain. Never will it ever be said that Buhari was the best president Nigeria never had like it is said of late Chief Obafemi Awolowo.

    Instead, he is working very hard to achieve the opposite. The way he is going, Buhari is likely to end up the worst president Nigeria ever had unless he changes gear.

    • LasgidyPort

      Oga it seems you don miss road.

  • Harry Haruna

    This is yet another opportunity for our judiciary to exonerate itself by making the right judgement. We are all watching.

    • Babrutus

      Don’t just watch, pray also…

    • Hrf Mayowa Oloke

      I can’t wait for 30th

  • adekunle akindude

    Faleke in my opinion is the governor of Kogi state

    • share Idea

      By law, the election should be annulled and the process starts all over. However, for practicality purposes, I will subscribe that Supreme court give it to Falake.

      • Carlos

        Good talk. Mr Bello is a stranger, a mercenary and busy body.

      • Hrf Mayowa Oloke

        I second this opinion of urs

    • Marcus Ijele

      Even APC, knows that but chose to frustrate the man. Hatred among them in the same party.

    • Hrf Mayowa Oloke

      What is ur yardstick for that??

  • Ogboju Ode

    My worry is this. If it is a party and not a candidate that contests election then why field a candidate at the poll? why cant we just vote for a party and allow such party decides who would be president, who would b governor etc after victory?

    • Hrf Mayowa Oloke

      Well let’s all wait till 30th of this month

  • Malami is the architect of this imbroglio. The best thing he should have done during the impasse was to go to supreme court to interpret the law instead of his ethnic-filled opinion.

    • LasgidyPort

      Don’t mind him. He really messed up on that. Look at how much these guys would have spent on this needless case. And the unnecessary tension and time waste.

      • Hrf Mayowa Oloke

        I can imagine how much tax payers have to pay for such excesses

  • Arabakpura

    The constitution is about to be affirmed in a landmark fashion!

  • MC

    Bello can never be said to be the rightful Governor of that state. People actually vote for persons rather than party because ‘party’ is just a mere coinage and inanimate. Many people who know Barrack Obama, Assad, Erdogan, Putin, Kim Jong un etc don’t know their parties. Therefore it’s antidemocratic to suddenly brandish one chap from the blues to inherit the goodwill of a known deacesed politician except that benefactor is something of an alter ego with whom he had earned the votes, in this case James Faleke.

    • Hrf Mayowa Oloke


  • bello abdullahi

    Without APC Buhari wont be a candidate!Same with Late Audu!
    You can not divorce/seperate the party and candidate as no independent candidate.
    If Buhari would have died before INEC announced the result Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso would have been President not Osibanjo!
    If in Olympic race a gold winner is disqualifies a new race is not done/asked for GODs sake!the silver winner/runners up takes over the GOLD.

  • bello abdullahi