James Faleke, running mate to the late Abubakar Audu in the November 21 governorship election of Kogi state, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), to order for allegedly supporting Yahaya Bello, governor of the state.
Faleke, who has asked his lawyers to head to the supreme court to appeal against the verdict of the appellate court, alleged that some highly placed government officials were “exerting pressure on judges”.
He said Malami preempted the court ruling, which favoured Bello.
“I am calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to do justice to Nigerians, to do justice to Kogites by immediately calling his ministers and other top government officials to order, especially the minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, who has been advising government wrongly on these issues,” Faleke said in a statement issued by Duro Meseko, his spokesman.
“The day before the lower tribunal gave judgement, June 5, 2016, Malami granted an interview in The Nation Newspaper where he analysed the Kogi Tribunal issue and what he said was exactly what the judges did the following day.
“It is inconceivable that the president who has been complaining to global audiences on the nation’s judiciary would find it difficult to rein in his ministers who are interfering in judicial issues.”
Faleke maintained that the judgement is political, but expressed confidence that the supreme court would “do justice”.
“This judgement as you all can see is a political judgement and cannot stand the test of time,” he said.
“We strongly condemn the judgement and believe that the Supreme Court that is the custodian of Nigeria constitution and the court of the people would do justice to our case.”
He said it was curious for the appeal court to hold that INEC manual for elections has a coordinate locus as the constitution.
Citing section 187 of the constitution, Faleke said it was wrong for the appellate court to rule that he could not be declared winner because he did not participate in the primary since the constitution already recognises deputy governorship candidates as “candidates” who in the eyes of the law have participated in primary.
He appealed to his supporters to be calm and go about their normal businesses, saying that, “at last, victory shall be ours at the Supreme Court.”