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Double registration: Natasha Akpoti asks court to disqualify Yahaya Bello

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State

Barrister Natasha Akpoti, a governorship aspirant in Kogi State, has asked a Federal High Court in Abuja to disqualify Governor Yahaya Bello as a candidate in the forthcoming November 16 governorship election in the state for alleged double registration.

Akpoti, in an originating summons filed before the court yesterday by her counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), told the court that Bello’s alleged act of double registration as a voter grossly violated Section 24(e) of the Electoral Act.

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She also listed the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as defendants in the suit.

She further asked the court to, apart from disqualification, bar Bello, the governorship candidate of the APC in the forthcoming poll, from holding public office for 10 years.

Akpoti, who was disqualified by INEC from contesting the forthcoming poll on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP), also prayed for another order compelling INEC to “thoroughly investigate the act of double registration” and “to immediately prosecute him (Bello) upon the expiration of his first tenure of office as governor of Kogi State in January 2020”.

The plaintiff said INEC had severally threatened to prosecute Bello for the said act of double registration with the commission but failed to take any discernible action in stopping him from contesting the governorship election.

“The transfer was carried out and his Permanent Voters Card was issued to him on February 26, 2018, while his second registration at the government house, Lokoja was and is still subsisting,” she stated.

She therefore sought among other prayers, a declaration by the court that Bello, “has by virtue of his double registration as a voter violated the provisions of Section 24(e) of the Electoral Act, 2010, as amended”.

The suit has yet to be assigned to a judge for hearing.

 

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