The apex court may hear and decide both appeals same day, and fix a different date for the underlying reasons as had been the pattern since the disputes on the 2015 general elections erupted to avoid external influences in its verdict.
Wada and Faleke had both appealed the decision of the appeal court which upheld the election of Bello on November 21, 2015.
In a unanimous judgment made by a five-member panel of justices, read by Justice Jummai Sankey, on August 4, the appellate court upheld the verdict of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja, which dismissed James Faleke’s petition.
But in Wada’s appeal, Justice Obande Festus Ogbuinya gave a dissenting judgment, cancelling the election of Bello, on the grounds that he was not validly nominated for the election following Audu’s death, and that he failed to nominate a running mate for the election.
He ordered the withdrawal of the governor’s Certificate of Return and the conduct of fresh election.
However, the panel had ruled that Faleke failed to prove the allegation that Bello was not qualified and registered to be voted for the as provided by the Electoral Act.
The panel also faulted the decision of Faleke to challenge his substitution at the election tribunal rather than the regular court, being a pre-election matter and an internal affair of the APC.
Wole Olanipekun (SAN) had said that INEC ought to have returned Faleke as governor, having polled 240, 867 votes with the APC’s late candidate, Prince Audu, on November 21, 2015, before Bello’s 6, 885 votes in the supplementary election of December 5, 2015, in line with Section 179 (2) 181 (1) of the 1999 Constitution.
On his part, Wada’s counsel, Chris Uche (SAN), contended that the APC had no qualified candidate in the election, adding that having scored the highest lawful votes of 25 per cent cast in, at least, two-third of the area councils in the state, he should be returned as governor.
Read more at http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/news/politics/kogi-supreme-court-decides-faleke-wada-s-fate-sept-20/162671.html#B1X7JdVQ21UK7RT8.99