- I dedicate my victory to Audu, says gov
Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja with agency report
It was yet another victory for Governor Yahaya Bello wednesday, the third in a roll, as the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja dismissed the petition filed by the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, Mr. Philip Salau, for failing to substantiate its claims.
The tribunal chairperson, Justice Halima Muhammad, in a two-hour judgment, dismissed the petition, saying it lacked merit.
According to her, there were no sufficient evidences to prove the allegations made by Salau and his party in the petition.
Justice Muhammad said the evidence given by a witness of the petitioner that he did not write a report after monitoring the election, closed the case of the petitioner.
She also said the allegation of corrupt practices by the petitioner during the conduct of the election could not be substantiated.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reported that the party had alleged that there were issues of irregularities during the conduct of 2015 Kogi governorship election.
Labour Party also alleged in its petition that Governor Yahaya Bello, the first respondent, was not validly elected and that his election was not conducted in compliance with the Electoral Act.
It said Bello did not participate in all the stages of the election and did not have a running mate before the conduct of the election.
The party also alleged that Bello had no valid nomination from his party.
Reacting to the judgment, counsel to Labour Party, Mr. Reuben Egwuaba, told journalists that the party would study the judgment and file a notice of appeal.
“Constitutional qualification of Bello is not grounded in law; we will study the judgment and file a notice of appeal,’’ Egwuaba said.
Bello had on Monday and Tuesday respectively defeated James Faleke and former Governor Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the same tribunal.
Meanwhile, Governor Bello has said he dedicated his victory at the tribunal to the late leader of the party, Prince Abubakar Audu who died in the course of the election that changed the political history of the state.
He also described the late political icon as a political martyr whose spirit will help enliven the state.
Addressing journalists yesterday after his third victory at the tribunal, the governor said the victory at the tribunal was further call to give good governance to the people of the state.
Bello said it was obvious that the All Progressives Congress (APC) recorded victory at both the November 21, 2015 general election and December 5, 2015 supplementary election and that the change the people voted for will spur his government to transform the state and empower the people.
The governor called on all Kogi people to rally round his administration in its bid to create a state where opportunities abound for the people to aspire to their aspirations.
He promised to ensure the protection of the rights of the people of the state and to open up new economic frontiers for inclusive empowerment.
According to the governor, the state government was building a reliable data base for payment of wages and improved workforce for effective service delivery to the people of the state.
He said government would generate more revenue for infrastructural development and social security, calling on all his opponents to join his New Direction government to move the state forward, saying it was time to strengthen the ropes of unity across the state.