The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is alleged to be planning to assist the governor-elect of Kogi state, Yahaya Bello, to enter a different name of a running mate different from James Faleke, Premium Times reports.
A Civil Society Organization and Election Monitoring Group, Conscience Nigeria, raised the alarm on the alleged plan by the commission.
Faleke was the deputy governorship candidate to the late APC gubernatorial candidate, Abubakar Audu, in the substantive governorship election.
Tosin Adeyanju, the group’s Executive Director, in a statement on Tuesday, January 19, alleged that INEC was also planning to enter the new name on its official documents and backdate same in order to prove to the Election Petition Tribunal Sitting in Lokoja that Bello actually fulfilled constitutional provisions by running the Supplementary election with a deputy.
He said: “Section 187 sub-section 1 of the Nigerian Constitution is very emphatic and states in unequivocal terms that any governorship candidate for an election will not be deemed to be duly elected if he fails to run the election with a deputy.”
“With Hon. Faleke’s letter to APC and INEC refusing to be Bello’s Deputy and opting out of the supplementary election, political observers and legal pundits had wondered how Bello would beat the trap of section 187 of the constitution since he actually ran the election without a deputy.”
According to Adeyanju, Conscience Nigeria is disturbed with reports from reliable sources, that Simon Achuba, a former member of Kogi state House of Assembly, (Kogi East) had been picked as the deputy governorship candidate who reportedly ran the supplementary election of December 5, 2015 with Bello.
He related the scenario that occurred during the collation of the December 5, 2015 Supplementary Election at the State collation centre, Lokoja, when an agent of the PDP challenged the nomination of Bello as governorship candidate by the APC since he had no deputy as Faleke had withdrawn but INEC’s national commissioner in charge of North Central, Amina Zakari, responded that Faleke remained Bello’s deputy because his party, APC, had not withdrawn his nomination despite the fact that he had written to the electoral umpire informing it of his intention to pull out of the race.
He quoted Zakari as saying that “unless the party withdraws a candidate, his letter is not enough, and unless the proper channel is followed, which is through the party, he remains the running mate.”
Adeyanju called on the leadership of INEC as a matter of urgency to investigate this alleged corrupt plan within its commision with a view to bringing culprits to book.
Faleke who was the running mate to the late Abubakar Audu, the APC candidate in the November 21, 2015 governorship election has insisted that he would not be deputy to the governor-elect, Yahaya Bello.
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