The All Progressives Congress’ deputy governorship candidate in the November 21, 2015 election in Kogi State, Hon. James Faleke, has reacted to the Supreme Court judgment upholding the election of Alhaji Yahaya Bello as governor of the state.
Mr. Faleke, a member of the House of Representatives, said he had no regrets challenging Mr. Bello’s election first at the election tribunal and up to the Supreme Court.
A seven-man panel of the apex court headed by Justice Sylvester Ngwata on Tuesday affirmed the election of Bello after listening to the closing statements of all the counsel.
The court said it would provide reasons for its decision on September 30.
In his reaction, Mr. Faleke said he had no regrets challenging Mr. Bello’s election, saying he took the step in “good faith to protect the interest of the over 240,000 electorates that voted for the Audu/Faleke ticket”.
Faleke was the APC’s running mate in the November election before the governorship candidate, Prince Abubakar Audu, died before the final declaration of the results.
The running mate, who expected to fill the vacuum created by the demise of Audu, challenged the APC’s decision to nominate Mr. Bello instead as the party’s new candidate for a supplementary election that held in December 2015.
In a statement signed by spokesperson of the Audu/Faleke Campaign, Duro Meseko, the lawmaker said it would have amounted to a “betrayal of the sacred trust of the people who reposed implicit confidence in the Audu/Faleke ticket not to have defended the sanctity of their vote up till the Apex court level”.
“We have heard the judgment handed down by the Supreme Court jurists upholding Yahaya Bello as governor. We shall wait for the full text of the judgment to know why they came to that conclusion”, he was quoted as saying.
“But let it be stated here that we have no regrets challenging the declaration of our election as inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). What we did was to defend the votes cast for Audu/Faleke by the over 240,000 electorates on November 21, 2015.
“The people voted for us as candidates not APC because they believe in the kind of leadership we offer to provide for them during our campaigns. It would therefore amount to crass betrayal of the trust of these electorates not to have defended their votes till the end”.
Mr. Faleke said as a member of the National Assembly, he would be glad to read details of the judgment so as to “know which areas of our nation’s jurisprudence require urgent review”.
He also urged all his supporters to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding and thanked them for their support.