Kogi Election and Abubakar Audu’s death: What lawyers and the law say

With the death of Abubakar Audu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Saturday’s governorship election in Kogi State, a new legal battle may have ensued on the fate of the election.
Mr. Audu was leading his closest challenger and incumbent governor, Idris Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party, by 41,353 votes.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, however, declared the election inconclusive as possible votes from the 91 cancelled polling units (49,953) is higher than the margin between the two leading
Mr. Audu would have eventually emerge winner after elections are held in the 91 polling units as the PDP candidate would have needed 100 per cent turnout and about all the votes for his party to emerge victor.
However, before he could celebrate his potential victory, the APC candidate died, throwing the country into a unique constitutional crisis.
Perhaps the closest constitutional section that relates to such a scenario is Section 181 which states that (1) 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; and (2) Where the persons duly elected as Governor and Deputy Governor of a State die or are for any reason unable to assume office before the inauguration of the house of Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall immediately conduct an election for a Governor and Deputy Governor
of the State.
However, as stated by Abdul Mahmud, a constitutional lawyer, the section only refers to when a person is ‘duly elected’. With INEC declaring on Sunday that the Kogi election was inconclusive, it is not clear if Mr. Audu could be considered ‘duly elected’.
“We are in a strange legal territory! The 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act do not envisage the unfortunate circumstance that Audu’s death foists. INEC had declared Saturday poll inconclusive, which makes S.181(1) CFRN 1999 irrelevant,” Mr. Mahmud said.
“In my opinion, a fresh poll is not necessary.
Section 36(1) of the Electoral Act 2011 empowers INEC to countermand (cancel) the poll for the 91 polling units it had earlier announced and fix a new date for the poll within 14 days. The effect of this section is that the power of countermand can only be exercised on the death of a candidate and after
nomination paper has been filed.
“The poll for the 91 polling units is not a fresh poll; it is the same November 21 poll, in my opinion. So, what happens to the APC? Section 33 of the Electoral Act 2011 allows the party to substitute the dead candidate. Under this section, substitution can only be allowed when a candidate dies or withdraws.”
Section 36 (1) of the Electoral Act, to which Mr. Mahmud referred, talks about the death of a candidate before an election.
“If after the time for the delivery of nomination paper and before the commencement of the poll, a nominated candidate dies, the Chief National Electoral Commissioner or the Resident Electoral Commissioner shall, being satisfied of the fact of the death, countermand the poll in which the deceased candidate was to participate and the Commission shall appoint some other convenient date for the election within 14 days.”
However, in the current Kogi case, the poll already commenced and was almost concluded.
Another constitutional lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, called on INEC to continue with the supplementary election in the state and declare a winner.
He insisted that it would be hasty for anybody to call for the cancellation of the election because of the demise of Mr. Audu.
He said, “The way forward is that the election will be concluded and a winner will be declared. One can hastily opine that the election will have to be cancelled because Audu, who was a leading candidate, is dead and that the election be conducted afresh.
“But Audu and Wada are not the only candidates in the election. The parties that were involved are more than the APC and the PDP and by law; no governorship candidate can emerge without a deputy governorship candidate. It is a joint ticket and the party is also involved and that is why in an election petition challenging an election, the candidate and the party can sue.
“For instance, in Ekiti state, Fayemi said he has accepted the result of the election but the APC said no and when to the tribunal. There is a shared destiny between the party, the deputy governorship candidate and the governorship candidate.”
He argued that Mr. Audu passed on when the election had been conducted and not on the eve of the election which could have warranted postponement as indicated in law.
“He didn’t die on the eve of the election to warrant a postponement because the Electoral Act and the constitution allow for the postponement of election if the candidate of a political party dies and provides for the substitution of a candidate,” he argued.
“But in this case, the election has been conducted, certain results have emerged, some results have been cancelled and INEC has declared a supplementary election.
“Because it is not given that if the supplementary election will be conducted, the APC and Audu win because the reason INEC gave for not declaring the result and planning to have a supplementary election is that the number of cancelled votes, put at over 49,000 exceeds the margin of votes between the two leading candidates such that it would
affect the outcome of the election.
“So it would be reductionist to assume that if the supplementary election were to be conducted, Audu would win. If Wada were to win, what would happen? Would we still say the election should be cancelled?
“The point is that although the election has not been concluded, if you look at what happened in Adamawa state in 1999 when Atiku Abubakar was elected a governor and thereafter, Obasanjo picked him as a vice presidential candidate thereby making his position vacant which resulted
in a legal battle.
“The Supreme Court in that case held that it the deputy governor-elect will step into Atiku’s position and that no new election was required. INEC in that instance was arguing that the governor-elect was not dead but was no longer available and the Supreme Court countered that
“In the present case, since the winner has not been declared and the certificate of return has not been issued, Mr. Ogunye argued that there is no clear difference with what happened in Adamawa state.
“The election can’t be cancelled at this time because Audu is dead. He didn’t die on the eve of the election but when the election was almost concluded. What is called for is a sober acceptance of the law without drama and insistence that there is going to be a constitutional crisis,” he cautioned.
However, Sebastian Hon, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, said he would not comment on the matter since he is a party to a similar case at the Election Appeal Tribunal in Jos.
“I wouldn’t want to comment on the issue and the reason is that I am involved in the Plateau state governorship election petition,” said Mr. Hon. “I am representing the governor and the PDP candidate (who
is challenging the governor’s election also died). It is a similar issue and I wouldn’t want to commit myself anyhow.
“In spite of the death of Pajok, the PDP has appealed and so it is not fair for me to talk on the matter as it were.”
Other commentators have spoken of the possibility of relying on the Supreme Court ruling that made Rotimi Amaechi the Rivers State Governor in 2007 wherein Nigeria’s apex court ruled that it was the PDP that was presented on the ballot and that won the election; and that
having declared Mr. Amaechi the true candidate of the PDP, he should be sworn in as governor.
Mr. Amaechi subsequently replaced Celestine Omehia who had occupied the seat having been the one the PDP initially recognised as its candidate in the election.
As at the time of publishing this report, INEC, the APC, and the PDP were yet to offer any opinion on what they believe should be the fate of the Kogi governorship election held on Saturday.
Source: Premium Times


Trending Right Now: #CBNMadness – New Bank Mistakenly Pays N45Million Into An Individual’s Account & They Want Their Money Back

The hashtag is #CBNMadness according to social media buzzers, Twitter is as mysterious as every other trend you find there, But we have the scoop.

Well the gist according to tweethearts is that a new generation bank mistakenly paid N45Million into a normal Nigerian’s account, by ‘normal’ I mean struggling to survive: and the individual withdrew the money. Now the bank has reported this lucky fellow to CBN and they want their money back.

The problem is the individual whose identity is yet to be disclosed is refusing to return the money. This birthed the hashtag #CBNMadness!! Lots of people think Central Bank of Nigeria should not tell the individual who woke up to manna from heaven to give the manna back.

Also Nigerians on twitter are using the #CBNMadness trend to talk about the news of the three rice ships originally set for Nigeria being diverted to Cotonou and other neighboring countries due to Nigerian
government’s refusal to sign the Form M for rice importers . The citizens believe the foremost financial institution should not for encourage the ploy while Nigerians are hungry and buying rice at exorbitant prices. At
this rate, there probably won’t be rice for the poor masses this christmas as it would be for those who can afford it.

Fuel hike, rice diversion, refusal of CBN governor to approve valid forex form are all reasons this trend rose so fast. President Buhari is taking most of the brunt of mouth-lash. Well, we are watching, and trending. At the least the international world can hear and see and read our plight.

Quick question Nobbers, If you woke up to a N45Million alert in your account and managed to successfully withdraw the cash, would you give it back to the bank? I don’t know what I’d do yet. I’d probably be in Turks and Cacos by now. I’d send myself on a N45Million worth of exile and seek asylum in the glistening waters of Burj al Arab’s ocean pool and will take along with me only those willing to serve time beside me if I get arrested.

Kogi group accuses Bola Tinubu of Prince Audu’s murder

The Inspector General of Police has been asked to commence an investigation into the death of Prince Abubakar Audu by a group called the Kogi United Forum.
The forum accused APC leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the murder of Audu, who was the party’s candidate at the recently held governorship elections in Kogi state.
Audu, who was governor of the state between 1999 and 2003, reportedly shared a meal with Tinubu a short while before vomiting blood and eventually passing on.
The group had claimed that Tinubu had prevented news of Audu’s demise from being announced so that his deputy, Lagos-born Abiodun Faleke could be declared governor.
The forum’s national president, Tunde Aina, in his statement, demanded “the immediate investigation of the death of Abubakar Audu as a case of cold-blooded murder and political assassination.”
He also demanded “that the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu be immediately arrested by the Nigerian Police and investigated thoroughly for the murder of Audu.”

Barack Obama to appear on Coldplay album

British band Coldplay have been granted permission to put US president Barack Obama on their new album, A Head Full Of Dreams.
According to The Sun, the White House has given the band permission to put a rendition of Amazing Grace by the president as an interlude in their album.
Obama had sang the hymn at the funeral of Clementa C. Pinckney, one of the victims of the Charleston church shooting.
The Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the shooting took place, also gave the band permission to use the rendition.
“We have a tiny clip of the President singing Amazing Grace at that church,” band frontrunner Chris Martin said. “[It’s on the album] because of the historical significance of what he did, and also the song
being about, ‘I’m lost but now I’m found’.”
“Barack Obama wouldn’t let just anyone feature his vocals on the record, especially considering what a deeply emotional moment it was for him,” The Sun reported.
“But he clearly loves Coldplay and is happy to be a part of their music history. The band were obviously thrilled.
“They needed to get permission from Obama himself and the Charleston church it was recorded in.”

Celine Dion’s Tribute To Paris Was Gutwrenchingly Gorgeous

The iconic singer chose Edith Piaf’s “Hymne A L’amour to Honor” the fall victims of Paris.
There were many memorable ~moments~ that happened during the 2015 American Music Awards on Sunday (Nov. 22), but none moved the audience and at-home viewers more than when Celine Dion took the stage to perform her vocal tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks on
Paris, France which rocked the entire world in their wake.
Dion, who hails from the French-speaking Canadian town of Charlemagne, Quebec, chose to sing Edith Piaf’s “Hymne A L’amour” to honor those lost, wounded, or otherwise affected by the attacks, and the performance proved to be just as emotional — if not more so — than expected.
Celine’s stellar performance wasn’t the only powerful part of that tribute, however. Jared Leto introduced the iconic singer with his own moving speech about his experience playing with his band, 30 Seconds to Mars, at the Bataclan just a few months before the location was sieged by terrorists, claiming the lives of dozens of civilian concert goers.
In his speech, Leto quoted a letter published by Antoine Leiris, whose wife was killed in the attack on Bataclan, saying in part, “We are two, my son and I, but we are stronger than all the armies of
the world.”
Leto also went through a list of places and people that matter, concluding that “the entire world matters and peace is possible,” and also used the platform to share his view that the Syrian immigration crisis response which has arisen as a result of the attacks is contrary to our history and tranditions,
“Many of us here are the sons and daughters of immigrants,” he said before listing out a few noteworthy examples of children of immigrants
who have become important figures in our country, including President Barack Obama and Steve Jobs.

France Strikes ISIS Targets in Syria in Retaliation for Attacks

PARIS — France bombed the Syrian city of Raqqa on
Sunday night, its most aggressive strike against the Islamic
State group it blames for killing 129 people in a string of
terrorist attacks across Paris only two days before.
President François Hollande, who vowed to be “unforgiving
with the barbarians” of the Islamic State after the carnage in
Paris, decided on the airstrikes in a meeting with his national
security team on Saturday, officials said.
While France has been conducting scores of airstrikes against
the Islamic State in Iraq, it had been bombing inside Syria
only sparingly, wary of inadvertently strengthening the hand
of President Bashar al-Assad by killing his enemies.
But after militants with AK-47 rifles and suicide explosives
vests shattered the peaceful revelry of Paris on Friday night,
killing dozens of civilians in restaurants and at a concert hall,
France seemed intent on sending a clear message of its
determination to curb the Islamic State and its ability to carry
out attacks outside the territory it controls.

The French Defense Ministry said in a statement that the air
raid, coordinated with American forces, was led by 12
French aircraft, including 10 fighter jets, and had destroyed
two Islamic State targets in Raqqa, the radical group’s self-
proclaimed capital.
The United States provided French officials with information
to help them strike Islamic State targets in Syria, known as
“strike packages,” American officials said.
Initial reports from activists on the ground in Raqqa, which
could not be verified independently, said that hospitals had
not reported any civilian casualties. Yet they also said the
targeted sites included clinics, a museum and other buildings
in an urban area, leaving the full extent of the damage
The French military response capped another tense day in the
wake of the attacks across Paris on Friday night. The
authorities hunted for an eighth suspect believed to be on the
loose, while seeking to piece together how the assailants got
the training, weapons and explosives they used.
President Obama and other world leaders, including
President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, gathered at a summit
meeting in Turkey, grappling with how to respond to the
Islamic State, the civil war in Syria and the mass emigration
from the region toward Europe.
Paris remained jittery all day, and early in the evening
unfounded reports of gunfire prompted an evacuation of the
Place de la République, in the heart of the city.
The revelations that at least four French citizens were
involved in the attacks — three brothers and a man who
lived around Chartres, about 60 miles southwest of Paris —
seemed certain to exacerbate longstanding fears in France
about the place of Muslim immigrants and converts in
French society. Even before the latest violence, the nation
was still reeling from a smaller set of deadly attacks on the
satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, at a kosher grocery and
against a police officer only 10 months earlier.
The French airstrikes on Raqqa began at 7:50 p.m. Paris
time, first taking aim at an Islamic State “command post,
jihadist recruitment center and weapons and ammunition
depot,” the Defense Ministry said. The second target, it said,
was a “terrorist training camp.”

Olamide Dedicates New Video To Quilox

Sensational Nigerian rapper, Olamide, has
dedicated his newest music video, MVP, to the
popular celebrity club, Quilox.
According to the award-winning rapper, “I am
dedicating this video to Quilox and the CEO, Shina
Peller, because of the constant love and support
that has been shown to the YBNL team. I cannot
thank the brand enough. God bless you more.”
The video made its debut last week on Olamide’s
VEVO channel.
It portrays the rapper’s luxurious lifestyle and
that of the club, which is located on the heart of
Victoria Island, Lagos.
The visual further illustrated the typical life of an
MVP, a CEO that works very hard to achieve his
goal and knows the importance of teamwork, and
also knows how to have fun.
MVP was shot in London and directed by
Alexxadjei. It was premiered exclusively at Quilox
on Wednesday, November 11, 2015, to a variety
of celebrities who came to support Olamide.

WAR & CONFLICT Dozens killed in Nigeria market bombing

More than 30 people dead after explosion rips
through crowds in eastern city of Yola.
The armed group Boko Haram has attacked Yola
with suicide bombs and improvised explosive
devices in the past [Reuters]
At least 32 people have been killed and dozens
more wounded in a blast at a market in the
northeastern Nigerian city of Yola, the Red Cross
and National Emergency Management Agency
(NEMA) said.
The explosion occurred at a fruit and vegetable
market beside a main road in the Jimeta area of
Adamawa’s state capital on Tuesday night.
The area, also housing a live stock market, was
crowded with shoppers.
“The ground near my shop was covered with
dead bodies. I helped to load 32 dead bodies into
five vehicles,” witness Alhaji Ahmed, who owns a
shop in the market, told the Reuters news
There was no immediate claim of responsibility
but officials will likely pin the blame on the armed
group Boko Haram which has killed thousands in
its bid to create a state adhering to Islamic law in
the northeast.
The group has previously attacked Yola with
suicide bombs and improvised explosive devices.
Tuesday’s bombing came less than a month after
at least 55 people died when suicide bombings
struck two mosques in different cities in
northeast Nigeria.
A massive blast on October 24 in Yola killed 27
people during a Friday afternoon prayer that
included officials helping to inaugurate a new
mosque, the National Emergency Management
Agency said.
Earlier on the same day in the city of Maiduguri –
the capital of Borno state and birthplace of the
armed group Boko Haram, another suicide
bomber killed 28 people in an attack on a
Last Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari was in
Yola to decorate soldiers for bravery in the fight
against Boko Haram as well as visit a camp for
people displaced by six years of violence that
have left at least 17,000 people dead.
He told troops he believed Boko Haram “are very
close to defeat” and urged soldiers “to remain
vigilant, alert and focused to prevent Boko Haram
from sneaking into our communities to attack
soft targets”.
Since losing most of the territory they took over
earlier this year to the Nigerian army, the fighters
have focused attacks on markets, bus stations
and places of worship, as well as hit-and-run
attacks on villages.

Nigeria hit by severe fuel shortage amid payment row

A severe fuel crisis has hit Nigeria with long
queues of angry motorists waiting for hours
outside petrol stations in major cities to fill up.
Importers are accused of withholding petrol
because of a payment dispute with the
government, which they deny.
This is the biggest fuel shortage in Nigeria since
President Muhammadu Buhari took office in May.
Nigeria is Africa’s main oil exporter but imports
most of its petrol because it lacks the capacity to
refine it.

The fuel is imported at a subsidised price under a
scheme operated by the state-owned Nigerian
National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
Earlier this month, the government approved the
payment of $2.1bn (£1.4bn) to the importers, or
wholesale fuel sellers, to settle subsidy claims.
However, payment has been delayed because
parliament has not yet approved it.
The BBC’s Bashir Sa’ad Abdullahi in the capital,
Abuja, says previous governments tended to pay
the wholesale fuel sellers without parliamentary
But it seems that President Buhari is trying to stick
to the law by refusing to release such a large sum
of money without parliamentary scrutiny, he says.
Mr Buhari took office partly on a pledge to curb
corruption in the oil sector.
‘Huge scam’
One motorist in the main northern city, Kano, told
the BBC Hausa Service that he spent the night in
his car while waiting in a queue to fill petrol.
“I have been here for more than 12 hours and I
don’t know if I will get the fuel at all,” he said.
Another motorist said he was in the queue for
about eight hours and “only people with
connections were being allowed to buy the fuel”.
The fuel subsidy scheme has become an
enormous scam, our correspondent says.
The wholesalers often pretend to bring in a lot
more oil than they do and pocket the money they
get for the petrol that is not delivered, he says.
In May, the country was brought to a standstill
when the importers went on strike following a
row over payments with the outgoing government
of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The latest: US: Very likely IS directed the Paris attacks

Lassana Diarra and Antoine Griezmann were among the 23-man squad that came to London, and both came on as second-half substitutes to
applause. France midfielder Diarra’s cousin was killed and France forward Griezmann’s sister escaped from the Bataclan concert hall where 89 people died.
Diarra lowered his head during the minute’s silence. Many France players, who had been told to play the game by the French Football
Federation, looked emotional for what was the Country’s first major public event since Friday’s atrocities.