A governorship aspirant in Kogi State, Natasha Akpoti, had approached a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to disqualify Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State ahead of the coming governorship election in the state.
Akpoti, in the suit filed before the court and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/122/2019 on Monday, accused Bello of double registration as a voter in 2011 and 2017.
She also prayed the court to bar Bello, from contesting the coming governorship election in the state and election for any public office for 10 years.
She also requested the court to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission to “thoroughly investigate the act of double registration” and “to immediately prosecute him upon the expiration of his first tenure of office as governor of Kogi State in January 2020.”
The plaintiff’s lawyer, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), contested that Bello’s act of double registration as a voter grossly violated section 24(e) of the Electoral Act.
Ozekhome argued that as part of the grounds of the suit that “by his wilful act of making double registration, Bello as APC’s candidate, “is not a fit and proper persons to be allowed by the 2nd defendant (INEC) to vote or be voted for in the forthcoming Kogi State governorship election, having committed acts of electoral fraud.”
In the affidavit in support of the suit, Akpoti narrated that she contested the March 23, 2019 Kogi Central Senatorial election but lost.
She also added that she had emerged as the Social Democratic Party’s candidate in the forthcoming governorship election in the state, but was unjustifiably disqualified by INEC.
She, however, alleged that \ first registered as a voter in Abuja in 2011 and procured the second voter registration card in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital, in May 2017.
She added, that as a confirmation of the alleged infraction by Bello, the governor subsequently transferred his Permanent Voter Card from Abuja to Lokoja while the second registration done in Lokoja was still subsisting.