Bello Risks Disqualification From Governorship Race
Yahaya Bello, Governor of Kogi State may be disqualified from contesting the November 16 governorship election should the court so rule.
This follows a legal suit filed by Natasha Akpoti of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) before a federal high court in Abuja requesting it to disqualify Bello on the grounds of double registration.
Akpoti in her submission before the court which was filed on her behalf by Mike Ozekhome, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) is accusing Governor Bello of double registration as a voter.
In a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1221/2019 and dated October 10, Akpoti alleged Bello registered as a voter on May 23, 2017 at the government house in Lokoja after he had reportedly registered as a voter in Abuja in 2011.
The suit listed the All Progressives Congress (APC) as first defendant and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the second defendant.
Akpoti asked the court to determine: “Whether Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st Defendant (APC) in the forthcoming Kogi governorship poll being organised by the 2nd Defendant (INEC) has by his act of double registration committed a wrongful act capable of disqualifying him as a voter or person to be voted for having violated the provisions of Section 24(E) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).
“Whether Yahaya Bello, candidate of the 1st defendant, is on account of his double registration as a voter, a fit and proper person to be sponsored as a governorship to candidate by the 1st Defendant or allowed by the 2nd Defendant to contest as a governorship candidate the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election.
“Whether Yahaya Bello, the candidate of the 1st defendant in the forthcoming Kogi state governorship election is not liable to be disqualified and/or barred from participating or contesting in and/or voting for any political office for the next 10 years, pursuant to his flagrant violation of the provisions of Section 24(E) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended).”
She further asked for a court order disqualifying and/or barring Bello, or directing INEC to disqualify the APC candidate from the governorship race or for any political office for the next 10 years.
Among other things, she is also seeking an order of mandamus compelling INEC to investigate the allegation of double registration against Bello and as well prosecute him on completion of his first term in office as governor in January 2020.
Naija News reports Akpoti was a governorship candidate of the SDP but was disqualified by INEC over the invalid nomination of her running mate as related to age qualification.
She has since challenged her disqualification in court.