INEC office razed in Kogi ahead of supplementary guber poll •Court disappoints Governor Wada

Posted by News Express | 4 December 2015 | 4,203 times

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Ahead of tomorrow’s supplementary poll in some polling units in Kogi State, unknown arsonists have torched the Dekina Local Government Office of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Security operatives are looking for clues to why the office was razed and the people responsible for the arson.

While many people believe it was aimed at frustrating the supplementary election, others say it may have been as a result of indiscriminate bush burning by some youths on hunting expedition.

It would be recalled that protests rocked the the eastern part of the state over the death of the leading candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the decision of APC to replace him with Alhaji Yahaya Bello from Kogi Central.

Meanwhile, a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole has declined jurisdiction in Governor Wada’s suit against APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Wada, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), had asked the court to declare him winner of the November 21 governorship election, following the death of his main challenger, Prince Abubakar Audu.

Ruling on the matter this morning, Justice Kolawole said that only an election tribunal could adjudicate such suit.

He said that the role of the judgement was to create a judicial and permissive atmosphere for INEC to conduct the supplementary election scheduled for December 5.

The judge further said that it was his view that where the court did not have affirmative powers to make declarative orders, it would amount to idle judicial indulgence to proceed with the suit.

Justice Kolawole had on Tuesday adjourned for judgment after all the parties adopted their final written addresses on contentious legal issues that arose after the sudden death of Audu before the election was concluded.

The court had consolidated four separate suits challenging the legality of the scheduled supplementary election, with the Justice saying that there was need for the court to expeditiously determine the issues “so that INEC will not conduct the election under a grave shadow of doubt as to the legal or constitutional validity.”

Other persons who filed suits, Johnson Usman, Emmanuel Daikwo and Emmanuel Igbokwe, were asking the court to rule that a fresh governorship election should be conducted in the state.

INEC had declared the governorship election held on November 21 inconclusive, even as it fixed Saturday to conduct a run-off poll.

The electoral body said it declared the election inconclusive because the margin between late Audu and the second-placed Wada was less than the number of cancelled votes.

•Based on Vanguard and Channels reports.

Source: News Express

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