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Faleke did not resign his position before Kogi election, says witness




A witness in the ongoing Kogi Governorship Election Tribunal, Mr. Edward Onoja, yesterday told the hearing that James Faleke did not resign his position before the guber poll.

Onoja, who was chief strategic officer to Governor Yahaya Bello during the December 5, 2015 governorship election and also the chief of staff to the governor, told the tribunal that Mr. James Faleke was a running mate to the governor during the election.

While being led in evidence by the Counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Ayotunde Ogunleye, the witness told the tribunal that he was not aware that Faleke wrote to the leadership of the APC of withdrawal of his candidature as a running mate to Bello before the election.

He also told the tribunal that he was neither aware if APC national leader wrote to the National Assembly of Faleke’s withdrawal.

“James Faleke did not resign his position before the election; he has always been the running mate throughout the election. INEC published the list of the candidate that contested the supplementary election of which Faleke was included as the running mate.

“Faleke only ended up as deputy governorship candidate and never graduated to be the governor,” Onoja said.

The witness also told the tribunal that he could not say whether Bello voted during the election or not.

According to the witness, what was contained on the ballot paper during the election was only the name of the party and not the name of the candidates.

Several documents were shown to the witness who admitted to have seen some of them before, during and after the election.

Counsel to ex-governor Idris Wada, Mr. Chris Uche, who had closed his prosecution case after the ex-governor had given his testimony to some of the documents on April 14.

Wada, who is chief petitioner in the matter, testified as third prosecution witness (PW3) and was cross-examined by counsels to respondents in the matter before the tribunal.

While being cross-examined by counsel to the All Progressives Congress (APC) Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (2nd respondent), Wada told the tribunal that the first respondent, Yahaya Bello, is a stranger to the election having not followed the process of candidature as required by law.

Wada told the tribunal that he does not believe that the announcement of the inconclusiveness of the November 21 election was as a result of Audu’s death.

The matter was adjourned till April 25th for continuation of hearing.

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