The Governor-elect of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, has debunked the rumours that the Department of State Security, DSS, arrested his estranged deputy governor-elect, James Abiodun Faleke and the late Prince Abubakar Audu’s son, Muhammed, on the strength of a petition he wrote against the two of them.
The younger Audu and Faleke, who was running mate to late Prince Audu in the November 21 governorship election in the state, were detained on Friday morning but released at around 5pm same day, for undisclosed reasons.
Bello, in a statement by his media office yesterday, said he never sent a petition against the duo to the DSS.
The statement, by Jude Salau, reads: “The allegation that I sent a petition to the DSS is false.
“I did not send any petition to the security department to invite Faleke. The insinuation that I might have written a petition to push for their invitation is false.”
He said the DSS proved to be a professional body under its leadership and could not be pushed around by an individual or a group.
“We should strive to support the independence of our security agencies. The agencies of government related to law enforcement and judiciary must be seen as impartial in our desire to build a strong democracy”.
Bello urged the All Progressives Congress’ (APC’s) members to seek the resolution of the issue “in the interest of our state”.
“Faleke is a respected member of the APC, who has contributed to the success of our party. Instigating his arrest cannot be a part of reconciliatory moves and peace building efforts we have initiated ahead of our January 27 inauguration.
“As we count down towards this historic inauguration of our change government, our focus remains the installation of a responsive and responsible leadership Kogi people will be proud of.
“We are determined to deliver the dividends of democracy to our people. A new Kogi is here: peace, harmony and an all-round development”, Governor-elect Bello said.
Faleke is currently challenging the emergence of Bello as the governor-elect, following the death of Prince Audu a day after the governorship election was held and declared inconclusive by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The deputy governor-elect, who is also the member representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, approached the governorship election petition tribunal, seeking to be declared a replacement for the late Audu and winner of the polls.