James Faleke, the running mate of Prince Abubakar Audu in the Saturday’s inconclusive Kogi governorship election, is a serving member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja Federal Constituency of Lagos State.
By sheer political convenience of the powerbrokers, Faleke was drafted to his state of origin to run with Audu as deputy governorship candidate.
What is now unclear is whether James Faleke will replace the late candidate.
The case is a bit similar to former Vice President Atiku Abubabar’s case in 1999. Atiku was elected governor of Adamawa State, with Boni Haruna as his running mate, when Obasanjo decided to pick him as his running mate. Boni automatically became the governor after Atiku opted to run with Obasanjo.
While Atiku’s case is unambiguously captured by Section 181 of the constitution, Faleke’s case is different as he is not “duly elected”.
Hear what the law says:
“(a) If a person duly elected as Governor dies before taking and subscribing the Oath of Allegiance and oath of office, or is unable for any reason whatsoever to be sworn in, the person elected with him as Deputy governor shall be sworn in as Governor and he shall nominate a new Deputy-Governor who shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of a simple majority of the House of Assembly of the State.
“(b) Where the persons duly elected as Governor and Deputy Governor of a State die or are for any reason unable to assume office before the inauguration of the house of Assembly, the Independent National Electoral Commission shall immediately conduct an election for a Governor and Deputy Governor of the State.”
Let’s see what INEC will say, and what the APC apparatchiks will do regarding the replacement.