African Development Congress (ADC), and it’s governorship candidate, Usman Zainab challenging the election of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state, along with others, yesterday closed its case in the petition the party and its governorship candidate in the last year’s Kogi State Governorship election.
The party and its candidate in the November 21 and December 5 governorship election in Kogi State closed their case before the tribunal after the testimony of their last witness, Raph Okoye Nwosu, who is the chairman of the party in the state.
The witness told the tribunal during a cross examination by Bello’s counsel, Paul Babatunde Daudu that Bello’s emergence as the governor of Kogi State is being challenged on the ground that he (Bello) was not validly elected by majority votes cast in the election.
The witness told the tribunal that he and his party were aware of the death of the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Abubakar Audu in the election, his party has no right to challenge APC;s substitution of its candidate, following Audu’s death.
After the witness’ testimony, the counsel representing the petitioners, Oba Maduabuchi told the tribunal that the petitioners have closed their case and the respondent, Governor Yahaya Bello’s counsel called his first witness, Onoja Edward David.
David, who was the Director General of Alhaji Yahaya Bello’s campaign organisation and the chief of staff to the governor told the tribunal that APC wrote a letter to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on November 23, 2015, informing it of the death of Audu, the party’s candidate.
He said the electoral body then, issued a public notice on November 24, requesting the party (APC) to substitute Audu, following his death, adding also that on 27th November, APC further wrote a letter to INEC, informing it that the party has replaced late Audu with Yahaya Bello as the party’s flag-bearer.
David then prayed the tribunal to dismiss the ADC’s petition challenging Yahaya Bello’s election as the governor of Kogi State.
Under cross examination by counsel to the petitioners, David said Bello was a candidate in the 2015 governorship election in Kogi State and that he contested the election under the platform of the APC.
“As at November 21, 2015 , prior to the death of Audu, he was a runner-up in the primaries of the APC for the purpose of the election”, he told the tribunal, adding however that Bello was not APC candidate for the December 21, 2015 election until November 27, 2015, when he was substituted for late Audu.
The chief of staff to the Kogi State governor admitted that Bello’s certificate of return issued him by INEC stated that he (Bello) won the November 21 and December 5th, 2015 governorship election in the state.
Maduabuchi reminded the witness that Bello Bello claimed to have contested and won the election on November 21st, even when he became the party’s candidate on November 27th.
The tribunal, at the end of the cross examination of the witness, adjourned till May 17, 2016 for adoption of written addresses in the petition.
Nigerian pilot recalled that INEC declared Bello winner of the December 5 gubernatorial election in the state, but his election was being challenged on the ground that he was not validly elected and that his election did not follow due process as contained in the Electoral Act.

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