After the nightmare of controversy over the death of Formal All Progressive Congress (APC) Gubernatorial candidate; Mr. Abubarkar Audu in Kogi state a couple of days back, the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has finally announced a new APC candidate Alh. Yahaya Bello as the winner of the rerun governorship election.
However, questions have been arising due to the fact that section 181 (1) of the electoral act 1999 stated that “If a person duly elected as Governor dies before taking and subscribing the Oath of Allegiance and oath of office, or is unable for any reason whatsoever to be sworn in, the person elected with him as Deputy governor shall be sworn in as Governor and he shall nominate a new Deputy-Governor who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of a simple majority of the House of Assembly of the State”.
This clause made a reasonable number of APC members and some other people across the country call for the automatic swearing-in of Audu’s running mate Mr. Abiodun Faleke, as Governor of the state.
The quoted section of the constitution emphasized that its only relevant if the candidate is “duly” elected. Leaving the idea of voting for Audu’s running mate, open to interpretation. A fresh election was ultimately decided as necessary. The election was not concluded in some parts of the state and section 36(1) of electoral act 2011 empowered the INEC to cancel the already announced results and conduct another election within 14 days.
The results on that election concluded in the early hours of this morning with a win for Alh. Yahaya Bello.
A pleasant congratulations was then expressed to Alh. Yahaya Bello after declaring APC the winner with 247,752 votes to defeat Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled at 204,877 to become second, and APC had 6558 votes to beat PDP 6353’s votes.