Despite publicly announcing his withdrawal from the Kogi supplementary election, James Abiodun Faleke is the deputy governor-elect, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said on Sunday. Faleke, who was running mate to Abubakar Audu, had asked to be declared governor-elect after Audu’s death.
INEC declared the November 21 election inconclusive because of the number of cancelled votes. As INEC declared Audu’s replacement, Yahaya Bello, the winner of the election, a PDP agent at the state collation centre challenged the nomination of Bello as governorship candidate by the APC.
He argued that the APC candidate was not “known”, and that the politician had no deputy owing to the withdrawal of Faleke. Responding, Amina Zakari, the INEC national commissioner, declared that Faleke remained Bello’s deputy because his party, the APC, had not withdrawn his nomination even though he had written to the electoral umpire informing it of his intention to pull out of the race. “Unless the party withdraws a candidate, his letter is not enough, and unless the proper channel is followed which is through the party,” he said. She asked the PDP to seek redress in court.