REACTIONS are already trailing the death of Former Governor of Kogi State, Abubakar Audu, with focus on legal implication of his sudden demise.
Audu, the All Progressives Congress – APC, candidate died less than 24 hours after Saturday’s Governorship election, and just a few hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission – INEC, declared the election inconclusive.
But as Nigerians mourn the death Audu, Lagos based rights layer and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria – SAN, Festus Keyamo has analyzed the legal implication of the APC candidate’s death, particularly concerning who becomes Governor of the state.
Citing section 181(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Keyamo said in a statement late Sunday, that James Abiodun Faleke ‘’automatically becomes the Governorship candidate of the APC, being the candidate elected with Audu as Deputy Governor.
Keyamo said: ‘’this is because even though the election is inconclusive, votes have been counted and allocated to Parties and candidates. As a result the joint ticket of Audu/Faleke has acquired some votes already. James Abiodun Faleke is as much entitled to those votes already counted as much as the late Abubakar Audu. He has a right to cling to those votes going into the supplementary election.’’
However, the Lagos lawyer noted that the issue of who becomes Faleke’s assistant might cause a slight problem within the APC.
‘’There is only one problem, though. Who nominates Faleke’s Deputy? Unlike section 181(1) of the 1999 Constitution, he cannot approach the House of Assembly of the State to approve a nomination by him of a Deputy. This is because, in reality, he is not duly elected yet. Therefore it is only reasonable to conclude that it is APC (Faleke’s political party) that should submit the name of a fresh Deputy Governorship candidate to INEC for the supplementary election.