Abubakar Audu’s running mate could become the governor of Kogi state

Nigerians were in shock on Sunday evening, after it was reported that Abubakar Audu, the All Progressive Congress (APC) gubernatorial candidate for Kogi State election, was dead. According to reports, he died from heart attack.  This announcement came after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared his victory at the election inconclusive. However, according to reports from 21 local governments that were already counted, Abubakar Audu had 240,867 votes while the gubernatorial candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Idris Wada had 199,514 votes.

APC party members are still in shock as they were initially celebrating his victory outside his residence, when he passed on. Abubakar Audu had been governor of the state in two tenures. The first was in 1992 and the second in 1999.

It is unclear if Audu will be replaced by his running mate James Faleke if declared winner of the gubernatorial election. Although, according to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Chapter VI, Part II,  Section 181, sub section 1 and 2,

“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.

“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.”

This means that the running mate of late Abubakar Audu, Faleke, who is a serving member of the House of Representatives, representing Ikeja federal constituency of Lagos state, should become the governor of the state. Just how, the APC or PDP will interpret this law is yet to reveal itself.

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