By Sadiq Umar – An Appeal Court presided over by Justice Jummai Sankey, in Abuja has dismissed an application by James Faleke, seeking to nullify the election of Yahaya Bello the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the 2015 Kogi governorship election.
Justice Sankey ruled that the nomination of Bello by APC did not contravene the 1999 Constitution or the electoral Act.
Bello was nominated by the APC to replace the late Audu following his death, but Faleke had faulted his nomination, arguing that he was the authentic candidate having ran the first election as deputy governorship candidate.
He further argued that the votes polled by the party in the election were his, since he was in a joint ticket with Audu.
He lost the case at the election petition tribunal.
Ruling, in the appeal by Faleke, Thursday in Abuja, Justice Sankey held that Section 221 of the Nigerian Constitution provides that only the party could canvass for votes.
She held that the Constitution does not recognize independent candidature and that Faleke could not lay claims to the number of votes polled before the death of Audu and before the election was concluded.
Justice Sankey then held that “so it may be said that he (Faleke) is not a candidate.”
According to the judge, Faleke was only joined to Audu after the primaries had been concluded, but Bello, whom the APC chose, participated in the primary election that produced Audu as candidate.
In June, the election petition tribunal dismissed Faleke’s petition against Bello, having ruled that Faleke could not be declared governor because he did not participate in the APC primary.