The All Progressives Congress (APC) running mate in the deadlocked governorship election in Kogi State, Mr. Abiodun Faleke has opposed the party’s choice of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as replacement for the late Prince Abubakar Audu. This disclosure was made known in a second letter written by Faleke yesterday to the party’s national chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun. According to Faleke, he is not prepared to give up his ‘mandate’ for any reason whatsoever.
Faleke in the four page letter written by his counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun and entitled RE: JUST CONCLUDED GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION IN KOGI STATE -APC SHOULD NOT SIDETRACK JAMES ABIODUN FALEKE OR SUPER IMPOSE ON HIM ANY OTHER PERSON OR CANDIDATE, said:
“While reiterating and adopting the position of our client as highlighted, expressed and conveyed in our first letter, permit us, most humbly, but frankly to add the following points on behalf and instruction of our client, that is to say:
(i)The Issue involved is that of constitutional, formal and legal imperatives, rather than political expediency. In the eyes of the Constitution and the law, our client is the governor-elect of Kogi State. There is no gainsaying this fact. It is a truism that cannot be discounted.
(ii) It is the duty of the APC to champion the actualization of its mandate, as well as that of our client. In this wise, we most humbly advise and caution that the party should be minded of the Ides of November, because the idea being sold to the APC by the INEC to go and hold a supplementary primary election for the purpose of bringing forth a governorship candidate to contest a supplementary election in 91 polling units is saturated with deleterious legal and constitutional landmines. We posit without any hesitation that at this stage, INEC and all the political parties that took part in the concluded election have reached a point of no return. Thus our client can neither be jettisoned by the APC, nor can a new or fresh candidate be imposed on him as his Principal. The law also does not recognize this type of supplementary election in 91 polling units, with total number of eligible voters with PVCs not more than 25,000 or thereabout. Otherwise, if the law and Constitution allow it, Kogi State would end up holding a supplementary election, which would also produce a supplementary governor. Put bluntly, there cannot be any legitimate Governor of Kogi State who would emerge from the supplementary election (outside our client) with a maximum of 25,000 votes, assuming all the registered voters with PVCs cast their votes for the anticipatory supplementary governor will also be likened to a Governor of 91 polling units. May we quickly draw your attention to Section 179 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution which states:
“(2) A candidate of an election to the office of Governor of a state shall be deemed to have been duly elected where, there being two or more candidates-
(b) He has not less than one-quarter of all the votes cast in each of at least two-thirds of all the local government areas in the state.”
Continuing, he said: “It was the contention of PDP that the then Deputy Governor-elect, Boni Haruna automatically became and assumed the position of governor-elect. The PDP took the matter to court and, at the end of the legal pilgrimage, the Supreme Court agreed with the PDP. Then the Deputy Governor-elect, Boni Haruna, not only assumed position as Governor, but spent two terms in office. With very high respect, we do not expect the APC to do less.
“When the late Umaru Yar’Adua was terminally sick, some leading members of your party in coalition with some decent forces in the country, bandying the ‘doctrine of necessity’ championed the cause of the then Vice President, Goodluck Jonathan to be appointed President. At the end of it all, the National Assembly acceded to this clarion call and Vice President Goodluck Jonathan metamorphosed to acting President. Thereafter, he became substantive President for six years. The point being made by us is that if we could rely on the doctrine of necessity and maximally utilize same to make Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, the sitting President, it then goes without saying that both INEC and the APC must submit themselves to the doctrine of constitutional imperative and/or necessity to allow our client to be Governor -elect of Kogi State.”