Kogi Election: Why we dismissed Faleke’s appeal – Supreme Court

Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello
Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

The Supreme Court on Friday explained why it dismissed the appeal of James Faleke of the All Progressive Congress (APC) on the Kogi governorship elections because the reliefs sought were “aberration, not known to law”.

The court dismissed the suit on September 20 saying it was “frivolous”. It also ruled against a different appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Idris Wada.

Seven judges unanimously dismissed the three appeals, which respectively contesting the return of Gov. Yahaya Bello of the APC.

Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun who read the lead judgment on in Mr. Faleke’s case on Friday, said the court dismissed the appeal because his claims were not supported by any existing laws.

“This is a simple law. Since the election had not been completed and the final results issued by the electoral body, Faleke, as a running mate, cannot claim ‎victory in the election,” she said.

She held that Mr. Faleke was not qualified to benefit the votes the APC scored in the contest before the death of the party’s governorship candidate, Audu Abubakar, because he did not meet the condition precedent.

Mrs. Kekere-Ekun said Mr. Faleke neither obtained nomination form nor substantively participated in the APC governorship primaries.

She said that INEC had already declared the election inconclusive before Mr. Audu’s sudden death.

Giving reasons in support of Mr. Bello’s qualification, the judge held that the Electoral Act gives room for substitutions of candidates on account of either death or withdrawal.

She said the law gives powers to political parties to take full charge of the process of selection of candidates for elections, adding that the court lacked the jurisdiction to stop them.

Mrs. Kekere-Ekun, therefore, held that the substitution of the late governorship candidate of the party with Mr. Bello was apt.

“Nothing can be more apt as the governor had fully participated in the governorship primary election of the APC and came second after Abubakar,” she said.

“Unlike Faleke who did not meet that condition, but was simply selected to be a deputy governor.

“By virtue of the provisions of Section 221 of the 1999 Constitution it is the political parties that actually contest elections.

“The governor having become candidate of APC, and legally sponsored by the same party can lay claim to the votes scored by the party in the Nov. 21, 2015 poll,’’ she held.

Mr. Faleke, the running mate to Mr. Abubakar had filed the appeal against Mr. Bello’s victory in the Dec.5, 2015 supplementary election.

He urged the court to return him as duly elected on the grounds that the Abubakar/Faleke ticket had already scored the majority votes of 240, 873 in the Nov.21, 2015 governorship election.

He contended that INEC acted in bad faith by declaring the election inconclusive because he (Faleke) should have been declared as governor after the death of Mr. Abubakar.

Similarly, Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, in his lead judgment, gave reasons why the apex court dismissed the appeals by PDP and Wada.

“The testimonies relied on by the appellants relate to qualification of the first respondent (Bello) and his alleged failure to personally nominate a running mate.

“They have also challenged his non-participation in the Nov. 21, 2015 election and the combination of the votes and votes scored by late Abubakar.

“We join the tribunal and the appeal court to hold that the testimonies have no probable value,’’ he held.

Mr. Ngwuta said the concurrent decision of the two courts below was affirmed because the appellants had not advanced any reason for the apex court to hold otherwise.

“It is my view that the appellants did not prove a ground for this court to interfere with the concurrent findings of the trial tribunal and the court of appeal,” Mr. Ngwuta held.

NAN reports that the appeals filed by the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and the Labour Party (LP) on the elections suffered similar fate.


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    Editor Premium Times,

    I am less interested in Nigeria’s Supreme Court. It has no shape or form,
    no reason or rhyme and no settled understanding of law for any certitude.

    Crude oil sells for $46 a barrel today. That is four times the price it sold in 1999.
    There was no economic recession in 1999. There was no massive retrenchment of
    workers then. There was no 17.6% rate of inflation. Is anyone out there still in
    doubt that President Muhamadu Buhari is utterly incompetent? President Buhari
    has been in power for 16 months and lied and lied that his incompetence is
    because there is no money. But President Buhari has so far not done what a
    honest man should do. He’s not rendered account of his stewardship in the 12
    months ending May 2016 to let the public know the actual truth.

    the public can sense something wrong. Well over three trillion Naira has so far
    been spent by President Buhari and his Ministers without any impact. Instead
    Nigeria’s become worse. President Buhari continues in dishonesty by abandoning
    his CHANGE pledge. He has now settled down as the status quo in chief. His last
    appointees into state run agencies bear the sponsorship of notoriously corrupt
    cronies who paid for his election campaign and whom Buhari gave the right to
    nominate just any crook or criminal as head of a federal parastatal.

    • Datti

      And the wailing continues…

    • A. A.

      Of what relevance is this to news above?

      • Magaji

        I wonder!

  • Right Minded

    What else do u expect from these APC Islamic judges. Even if Buhari’s certificate mess had gone 2 d Supreme Court, the judges would av still thrown d case out for lack of evidence…

    • A. A.

      What’s the relevance of this to the news item under reference?

  • Gary

    What an obscene and incomprehensible judgement. So the Nigerian Constitution regards a running mate as inconsequential and a mere invitee who holds that position strictly at the pleasure of the party?

    That’s a novel and uniquely Nigerian interpretation of the law and the system of government in practice.

    This was noting but a political decision rendered in the same shameful fashion by the Supreme Court as earlier rulings on James Ibori and the Rotimi Amaechi cases that came before it.

    It is now crystal clear that highest courts in the land, the Appeal and Supreme Courts have been compromised by political pressure. No wonder APC operatives are telling victims of the election theft in Edo State to go to court. They know the fix is in.
    I fear for Nigeria’s future.

    • A. A.

      Kindly check the relevant laws or at least seek sound legal opinions on issues of law before commenting so that your comments might be properly anchored

  • A. A.

    Bravo to apex court. The relevant laws as of the moment have been rightly interpreted and applied in this matter.

  • Conerned Nigerian

    God, save Nigeria and Nigerians !!!