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Wednesday, March 16

Kogi: Governor Yahaya Bello's Voter Card Bears Abuja Address - Witness

Kogi: Governor Yahaya Bello's Voter Card Bears Abuja Address - Witness

Governor Yahaya Bello
Yahaya Bello's stand as the governor of Kogi state is currently being contested by his political opponent, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke in court.

A witness in the Kogi State governorship election dispute, Mr Onoja Edward, on Tuesday, told the election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja that Governor Yahaya Bello’s voter card bears an Abuja address, according to the Nigerian Tribune.

Edward told a three-member panel headed by Justice Halima Muhammad that the governor had applied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the transfer of the card back to Lokoja.

The witness, who is the chief of staff to the governor, told the tribunal during cross-examination by the counsel for the petitioner, Mr Wole Olanipekun, “I detest impunity, I also detest fraud; I will not encourage impunity or fraud in governance, the voter card of the second respondent (Yahaya Bello) carries the address of Abuja, but we have applied for transfer and we are yet to get approval.

“Although, the names on INEC nomination form is bearing Abubakar Audu and James Faleke, but upon the request by the second respondent’s party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the death of Audu, the party submitted his nomination form to INEC.

“Also, Exhibit R6 is a document which pronounces the election to run from November 2015 to December  2015,” Edward told the tribunal.

The witness also said Faleke was a running mate throughout the election period and that he had never been an independent candidate in the state governorship election.

According to the witness, “28 candidates contested for the Kogi primaries and the petitioner was not part of the candidates that contested.”

Edward also told the tribunal when he was being cross examined by INEC counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon, that Bello obtained the second best result in the primaries and that was why he was considered to represent the party after Audu’s death.

“Bello had 703 scores during the primaries, and Audu got 1,109 scores. There was never a time the petitioner was an independent candidate.

“The petitioner had never been sent as an independent candidate all through the electioneering process. He had been a running mate all through the election,” he said.

Izinyon had earlier told the tribunal that he had no witness but would tender documents in relation to the election.

The tribunal, however, adjourned till April 6 for continuation of hearing in Faleke’s petition.

The tribunal also adjourned till March 22 for the adoption of written addresses in the petition filed by the former governor of the state, Captain Idris Wada, challenging the declaration of Yahaya Bello as the governor of Kogi State.

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