A political pressure group, Kogi Democratic Forum (KDF), has attributed the lingering legal actions that have trailed the emergence of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State to those it identified as powerful external political forces outside the State.
The leader of the forum, Ozigi Omezie, in an interview with journalists in Abuja at the weekend, expressed concerns that these forces are determined to impose their cronies on the state through the judiciary in order to plunder the resources of the state to the detriment of the people of the state.
He further alleged that these forces would not stop at anything to derail the governor because of his commitment to the welfare and wellbeing of the people of the state, as well as his presumed closeness and unalloyed loyalty to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Omezie also claimed that one of the top leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) from the South-west had planned to infiltrate the judiciary with a view to scuttling the mandate given to Bello at the polls.
He however, commended the judiciary for standing firm in the face of media onslaughts that had been launched against the judgment of the Election Petition Tribunal and Court of Appeal, Abuja, which all ruled in favour of Bello.
“What is happening in Kogi State is clearly engineered by some external forces outside the State. These elements are obviously not happy with the emergence of Bello as the governor of the state and the good work he has been doing since coming into power. But they failed to realize that Allah’s ways are always different from the people.
“These enemies of the state feel they can move against the divine will of the people. Their strategy is to try and manipulate the judiciary to achieve what they failed o achieve at the polls. Thankfully so far, the Almighty Allah has demonstrated that he is supreme.
“Both the Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal have all affirmed the governor’s elections. Insha Allah, the Supreme Court will complete what was started at the tribunal and we shall live to see 2019.”
Between June 8 and 12, 2016, the Election Petition Tribunal affirmed that Bello was validly elected in the election that defeated Hon. James Faleke and former Governor Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Both Faleke and Wada proceeded to the appellate Courts in Abuja to challenge the tribunal’s ruling, but in separate judgments delivered by Justices Jummai Hannatu Shankey and Owoade Mojeed, the tribunal’s judgment was upheld.
The leader of KDF expressed satisfaction with the various court rulings that validated the nomination and eventual election of Bello as the rightful candidate in the November 2015 governorship elections.
He expressed optimism that the governor would again, triumph at the Supreme Court.
Omeiza thanked the governor for his populist-oriented programmes, which he noted are manifested in the areas of youth empowerment, health care, education and infrastructural development.