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Court will today decide if Kogi Supplementary election will hold tomorrow

Judgment in all suits involving the inconclusive Kogi governorship election will be delivered 24 hours before the supplementary poll scheduled by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, for Saturday. This was disclosed yesterday by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of a Federal High Court in Abuja, DAILY POST has reported.

The incumbent Governor and standard bearer of the PDP, Idris Wada had filed a suit praying the court to declare him winner of the November 21 governorship election. This was as Johnson Usman, Emmanuel Daikwo and Emmanuel Igbokwe, filed legal action, asking the court to conduct a fresh governorship election in the state.

Meanwhile, the APC deputy governorship candidate in the inconclusive poll, Hon Abiodun Faleke, has also filed a suit asking the court to declare him as the governor-elect on the grounds that he has joint ticket with the late Abubakar Audu, having recorded the highest votes during the election.

When the case came up on Tuesday, all the parties in the suit agreed to consolidate the suits to enable the court deliver one judgment. Three issues were found to have been formulated by parties in the suit.

First, the court is being asked to determine whether having regard to the provisions of Section 31(1)(2)(3)(4)(5)(6)(7) and 8, 33, 34, 36, 85 and 87 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) as well Sections 178-181 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), INEC can lawfully conduct a second/supplementary election into the office of the governor of Kogi State on December 5, 2015, or any other date at all let alone accepting the nomination/substitution by the All Progressive Congress (APC) when the new or substitute candidate was not part of the original election.

The plaintiffs are also praying the court to decide whether in view of the provision of Section 178(2)(3)(4)(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and other enabling provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and having regard to the doctrine of necessity, the plaintiff being the only surviving candidate with the major of lawful votes cast at the Kogi State governorship election held on November 21, 2015 ought not to be declared and returned by the INEC as the winner of the election having secured not less than one-quarter of the votes cast in two-thirds of all Local Government Areas in Kogi state.

It would be recalled that INEC had on November 22, declared the election inconclusive and announced that a supplementary election would be conducted to determine a clear winner. The APC governorship candidate in the election, Prince Abubakar Audu, who died after the election was declared inconclusive, was leading by a margin of 41,000 votes.