Invalid Nomination; Fresh Court Case Seeks Nullification of Yahaya Bello’s Swearing-In

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A fresh suit seeking to nullify the return and swearing in of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as governor of Kogi State has been filed before a Federal High court sitting in Abuja.

Documents made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Tuesday  indicated that the suit with number FHC / ABJ / C3/ 535 / /2017 was filed on June 16 before Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court 3, Abuja.

The plaintiffs in the case are Mr Michael Elokun, Mr Ibrahim Sule and Mrs Hawa Adamu, all registered voters in Kogi State and claiming to be suing  on behalf of the 1.2 million registered voters in the 21 local government council areas of the state.

Apart from Bello, other defendants in the case are the All Progressives Party (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of the federation.

In the originated summon which was supported by a 19-paragraph affidavit, the petitioners are asking the court to nullify the return and swearing in of Bello on grounds that he is not a registered voter in Kogi state.

They also want him removed because he was not validly nominated in writing for the 2015 governorship election by any registered voter in the state as stipulated by Section 32 of the 2010 Electoral Act as amended.

 

The trio of Elokun, Sule and Adama also argued that Bello who is not a registered voter in Kogi State cannot be nominated for any elective position or be voted by the electorate in the state.

According to the suit, the petitioner are demanding that the court declare as null and void the declaration of Bello as the winner of the governorship election held in the state in 2015 by the INEC.

The suit was filed on behalf of the petitioners by a team of five lawyers led by Mr Umar Mohammed.

The issue of Bello not being a registered voter in Kogi State was brought to the fore recently when the INEC declared that he was involved in double registration.

The INEC said that the embattled governor had registered as a voter in Wuse Zone 11 Abuja in 2011 only for him to engage in another registration in Lokoja on May 23, 2017.

INEC consequently described the action of the governor as illegal and cancelled the illegal second registration.

No date has been fixed for the case.


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