ABUJA, Nigeria – An Abuja Federal High Court on Friday refused to entertain a suit seeking the disqualification of Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, from participating in the November 16 governorship election.
The trial judge, Justice Ijoema Ojukwu, transferred the suit to the court’s division in Lokoja, Kogi State.
The candidate on the platform of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Natasha Akopti, had filed the suit seeking to disqualify Bello from the poll.
In the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/122/2019, Akpoti claimed that the governor engaged in double registration as a voter in 2011 and 2017.
Against this backdrop, she urged the court to stop Bello from contesting election for any public office for 10 years
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), who filed the suit on her behalf, contended that Bello’s act of double registration as a voter, grossly violated section 24(e) of the Electoral Act.
Apart from disqualification, the plaintiff also asked the court to bar Bello, the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming poll, from holding public office for 10 years.
She also prayed for another order compelling the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to “thoroughly investigate the act of double registration” and “to immediately prosecute him upon the expiration of his first tenure of office as governor of Kogi State in January 2020”.
Her lawyer, Ozekhome, in the Originating Summons, argued as part of the grounds of the suit, that, “by his willful act of making double registration”, Bello as APC’s candidate, “is not a fit and proper person to be allowed by the 2nd defendant (INEC) to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election, having committed acts of electoral fraud”.