- Ask INEC to declare Wada winner of guber polls
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Governor Idris Wada have asked the Federal High Court, Abuja to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, from conducting the December 5 supplementary election.
They also asked the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC to issue him (Wada) with a Certificate of Return and declare him the winner of the inconclusive November 21 governorship election being the only surviving candidate with the majority of lawful votes cast at the Kogi State Governorship election.
Wada also asked the court to issue an order of injunction restraining All Progressives Congress, APC, from organising or holding a fresh primary election for the purpose of any supplementary or other election for the Kogi State governorship election 2015.
In a suit filed on their behalf by Chief Chris Uche, SAN, yesterday Wada said that in view of the death of the APC’s candidate, Abubkar Audu, he should be declared the winner of the botched election being the only surviving candidate with the majority of lawful votes cast at the Kogi State governorship election held on November 21, 2015.
INEC, the Attorney General of the Federation and the APC are joined as the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively.
In the main, the plaintiffs also filed another application praying the court to restrain INEC from conducting the December 5 supplementary election.
The governor also asked the court to declare that APC could not organise and hold a fresh primary election for the purpose of the supplementary election, having regard to the immutable statutory timeliness provided by enabling sections of the Electoral Act 2010 and the INEC timetable for Kogi Governorship election.
The plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the AGF was not competent to issue directives to INEC to allow APC to substitute its candidate for the Kogi governorship election after the commencement of the election and those directives are null and void for inconsistency with the provisions of the constitution.
They also asked the court to hold that APC could not lawfully nominate a candidate for the supplementary governorship election slated for the 5th day of December 2015, without a valid and legally cognisable primary election of the APC conducted within the mandatory timeliness specified by the Electoral Act.
Wada and PDP further asked the court to declare, “having regards to the provisions of Section 141 of the Electoral Act, 2010, voted scored by a candidate who died during an election cannot be inherited by or transferred to a person who was not a candidate at the said election and who did not participate in all stages of such election, for the purpose of concluding such election.
A 36 paragraph affidavit deposed to by the PDP State Collation Agent for the governorship election conducted in Kogi State, Mr Joe Agada stated thus: “That with the demise of APC’s candidate, the two leading candidates became Wada with 199,514 votes and and that of the Labour Party with 8, 756 votes.
“That I know as a fact that INEC on this basis ought to declare the Wada the winner of the governorship election of 21st November 2015, being the only surviving candidate with the highest number of votes and scoring 25 per cent of the votes in all the Local Government Areas of the State.”
The case has yet not been assigned to any judge.
Late Audu running mate, James Faleke had wrote to the INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, asking that he be declared the winner of the inconclusive election.
In a letter written by his lawyer, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Faleke said that the only option opened to INEC is to declare him the governor-elect.
Olanipekun wrote, “What INEC should do is to obey, respect and comply with the letters, spirit, intendment and tenor of the constitution by not only declaring APC as the winner of the election, but by also declaring our client as the Governor-elect.”
He said that INEC’s directive to APC to conduct a new primary to select a candidate to replace Audu was, “unfounded, both legally and constitutionally. It can also not ne reasonably or rationally defended.”
Olanipekun drew the attention of the INEC chairman to the provision of section 68(1) and (c) of the Electoral Act to the effect that any result declared by Returning Officer shall be final and binding, and can only be reviewed or upturned by an election tribunal.