- Alhaji Yahaya Bello has won again in court following another pre-election suit by the Action Democratic Party
- The ADP's case was struck out due to lack of diligent prosecution by the claimants
- The Kogi state governor had emerged victorious in previous cases up to the Court of Appeal since his election victory in November 2019
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A Federal High Court in Lokoja presided over by Hon. Justice D. U. Okorowo on Monday, July 20, struck out a pre-election suit of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) against the election victory of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state.
The case is the last in the series of pre-election cases instituted against the election of Governor Bello. It was filed on November 4, 2019.
Governor Bello had emerged victorious in previous cases up to the Court of Appeal.
The ADP's case was struck out due to lack of diligent prosecution by the claimants.
The suit with No. FHC/LKJ/CS/136/2019 was by one Sule Solomon Itanyi and two others against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and one other.
The claimants alleged that INEC failed in her duty when it refused the party (Action Democratic Party) to substitute Ndakwo Abdulrahman Tanko, her original governorship candidate for Itanyi prior to the conduct of the election.
The 1st respondent (INEC) and the 2nd respondent (APC) in reaction to the suit challenged the jurisdiction of the court on the ground that the suit was filed outside the mandatory statutory period of 14 days from the date of the occurrence of the cause of action and that the 180 days provided for the trial court to hear and determine the suit had also lapsed due to negligence of the claimants.
Justice Okorowo in his judgement upheld the objections of the respondents on the two main grounds, saying that the suit is "statute bar."
The suit was, therefore, struck out for lack of diligent prosecution by the claimants.
Recall that an Abuja-based lawyer, A. Adaramaja Esq, recently offered a brief analysis on the four appeals against Governor Yahaya Bello's victory at the Kogi gubernatorial election petition tribunal.
The revered lawyer also gave reasons why the appeals were dismissed by the various courts who handled the petitions.
A few weeks ago, the election of Bello as governor of Kogi state was confirmed by the Court of Appeal.
The court, sitting in Abuja, on Saturday, July 4, held that Bello was duly elected governor of the north-central state.
The judgement was handed down by a five-man panel of justices.
The justices dismissed the appeals filed by four political parties challenging the governor’s re-election in the November 2019 governorship poll.
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