From Premium Times -
Many of the supporters arrived Abuja on Monday, an aide to Mr. Bello said.
Parties in the suit have mentioned appearances to the court.
Wale Olanikpekun is representing Mr. Faleke while Alex Izinyon represents INEC.
Joseph Daudu represents Yahaya Bello while the representative of the Labour party is yet to be mentioned.
All the lawyers mentioned so far are Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
Women supporters of Yahaya Bello at the court
A banner in show of support for Yahaya Bello at the court
Another Senior Advocate, Akin Olujinmi, also represents INEC.
Justice Sylvester Ngwata leads six other justices of the Supreme Court to decide the case.
Alex Izinyon, INEC counsel, said he notes the peculiarity of the case. He asks the court to take cognisance of Section 141 of the Electoral Act to determine if Mr. Faleke has taken full part in the election. He says the section deals in full participation of the candidate.
Mr. Iziyon says votes cast cannot be inherited.
After the submissions of Mr. Izinyon, Joseph Daudu, counsel to Governor Bello said the application should be dismissed.
He said the three grounds mentioned by Mr. Izinyon, that Mr. Bello was not elected by majority of voters, that he was not qualified to have emerged candidate, and that the electoral procedure was not followed have not been proven by Mr. Izinyon.
Alex Izinyon had stated in his closing statement that “He (Mr. Bello) was a stranger who suddenly got automatic ticket; that’s why he needs to be removed.”
Mr. Daudu argues that APC and the candidate it chooses has the right to inherit all what was owned by late Mr. Audu.
“Even his wife,” he adds jokingly.
Mr. Daudu says it is the election tribunal that has the right to decide whether a person has participated in an election or not.
Mr. Daudu says Section 221 of the constitution allows that it is the political party that contests elections.
It was one and the same election. The election of November 21 was only declared inconclusive and then concluded on December 5, Mr. Daudu, Governor Bello’s counsel says.
“The beneficiary of the votes in both elections are Yahaya Bello,” Mr. Daudu tells the court.
Akin Olujinmi representing APC says Section 33 of the Electoral Act allows a party to substitute a dead candidate.
When asked by one of the judges to explain what he understands by a candidate, Mr. Olujinmi said: “My lord, candidate is a candidate” causing laughter in the court room.
Alex Izinyon takes the floor again. He says the court should adopt his previous arguments asking for the sack of Yahaya Bello.
He argues that Section 141 of the Electoral Act should be tied to Section 138 of the same Act.
Mr. Izinyon said court records show that Mr. Faleke remained the deputy governorship candidate of the APC.
The party and the candidate are inseparable as far as both of them are alive, he said.
Chris Uche, representing Idris Wada, said the law states that nobody other than a political party should canvass votes for a candidate.
Mr. Uche argued that the Supreme Court never allowed a party to appoint another person to represent a dead candidate.
He said a candidate can only be regarded as having participated in an election if he takes full part in the entire process.
The PDP candidate’s counsel said the problem his client has is that the substitution did not take place before the entire election.
When asked whether candidates vote as individuals or candidates, Mr. Uche said voters also look out for a candidate.
“A party needs a candidate to conduct an election. The party cannot just bring a person to come and inherit the votes of another person,” Mr. Uche told the court.
A woman bangs the door several times in an attempt to enter the court after the door was closed by security officials.
The presiding judge asks that everyone be allowed in so that there will be silence.
A party to the matter, the Africa Democratic Party, through its lawyer, Maduabuchi Oba, said the law allows that a person who emerged winner must have participated in all elections in the whole of Kogi
“Votes cast are not APC votes but the people’s votes for APC. So, after the substitution, they should have started afresh,” Mr. Oba said.
On the importance of a candidate, Mr. Oba says without Muhammadu Buhari, the APC would not have won the presidency.
Joseph Daudu takes the floor again after Mr. Oba’s submission.
Mr. Daudu says no matter how juicy the arguments of counsel are, the law supersedes arguments.
Sulaiman Islam, counsel to the Labour Party, is introducing a new motion to the court.
He said the motion was filed on August 16.
He asks the court to allow the new motion.
The Labour Party lawyer said the main grounds of arguments raised by his counsel was neglected at the lower court.
The presiding judge, Justice Sylvester, asked the Labour Party lawyer if he appealed the order of the lower court. He answered in the negative.
The court held that since he did not appeal the ruling, he was deemed to have accepted the decision of the lower court.
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