* Raises fresh legal questions
MUSA BABA AHMED, JONAS EZIEKE,Abuja
Following the conclusion of the supplementary governorship election in Kogi State and his refusal to deputise Yahaya Bello who succeeded late Audu Abubakar in the election, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke yesterday showed up in the House of Representatives where he took part in the Tuesday plenary session.
Faleke whose insistence on being declared governor-elect of Kogi State after the death of his principal, Prince Audu currently represents Ikeja Federal constituency in the 8th House of Reps where he also chairs the Committee on Customs and Excise.
The lawmaker-cum deputy governorship candidate in the just concluded contentious election stormed the green chamber spotting a white flowing ‘Agbada’ and a hand-made red cap, amid cheers and ovation from his colleagues in the House as he approached the chair where he held a tete a’tete with Speaker Yakubu Dogara for a few minutes before resuming at his officially allotted seat.
The presence of the two-time lawmaker in the House having transferred his voter card from Lagos to Kogi to enable him exercise his franchise has also raised new legal questions as to whether or not he still has the legal rights to represent the people of Lagos.
Faleke who rejected his re-nomination as deputy governorship candidate to the eventual winner and governor-elect, Alhaji Yahaya Bello has since gone to court asking the Judiciary to declare him governor-elect instead of Yahaya Bello whose name the All Progressives Congress (APC) forwarded to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as subtitle to the late Prince Audu.
In the suit, Faleke argues that both the INEC and the APC erred by, first, declaring the election inconclusive when the circumstances leading to cancellation of votes in most of the affected polling units bothered on over-voting and refusal to use card reader which amounted to violation of the electoral Act of 2010.
He is also faulting APC’s decision to substitute late Audu with Yahaya Bello when he (Faleke) who participated in all the stages of the election with the late candidate should have been the replacement as against Yahaya Bello who did not participate in all the stages of the election apart from the primaries where he came second.
Faleke’s camp has also accused Yahaya Bello of anti party activities during the inconclusive poll, saying that the latter worked against the interest of the APC which accounted for why the party even lost his own polling booth in Okene.
However, efforts to get views of lawyers concerning the legal implication of the development could not yield results as at press time.