By Dipo Awojobi – The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal for Kogi on Tuesday fixed March 14 and March15 for the adoption of pre-hearing addresses from parties in a suit challenging the election of Gov. Yahaya Bello.
Hon. James Faleke, a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and five others, had filed six different petitions before the tribunal challenging the election of Bello.
It would be recalled that Bello was declared winner of the Dec.5 gubernatorial election in the state.
However, the parties challenged the election of the governor on the ground that he was not validly elected and that his election did not follow due process as contained in the Electoral Act.
The parties challenging Bello’s election were the former governor of the state, Capt. Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Faleke of APC and Usman Zainab of African Development Congress.
The others were Mr Akwu Goodman of the All Progressives Grand Alliance, Mr Emmanuel Ozigi of the Progressive People’s Alliance and Mr Phillip Salawu of the Labour Party.
At the resumed sitting on Tuesday, Justice Halima Muhammad, fixed the dates for Faleke’s petition following the applications and agreement reached between the petitioner’s Counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) and Bello’s Counsel, Mr Joseph Daudu (SAN).
The judge also ruled that all preliminary objections filed before the tribunal by the petitioners and the respondents should also be taken together with the substantive petition.
The parties, including INEC’s Counsel, Mr Ahmed Raji, have also agreed to call only two witnesses each to testify.