Dino Melaye has laughed off the nullification of his senatorial election by the Kogi State National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal.

A three-man panel, led by Justice A. O. Chijioke, in a unanimous judgment, accepted Smart Adeyemi’s request and ordered a fresh election in Kogi West.

Adeyemi, who ran on the platform of the All Progressives Congress
(APC), had asked the Tribunal to nullify the election on the grounds
that there were cases of irregularities including over-voting and
non-compliance with the electoral act.

Reacting to the outcome of the judgment, Melaye said he would get judgment at the Appeal Court.

Melaye wrote, ”On Tribunal judgment. No cause for alarm at all. Even
if it went my way they will still go to the Appeal Court. Our mandate
can not be taken. We will get judgment at the Appeal Court.

”There will be a fresh election in Kogi West because I will be Governor. For my Senate mandate no shaking.”

Melaye polled a total of 85,395 votes to defeat his APC opponent, who scored 66,902 votes.

But the APC candidate went on to challenge Melaye’s election on three
grounds of irregularities, over voting and non-compliance with the
electoral act.

At one of the sittings, counsel to the petitioner, Toyin Adeniyi,
called three witnesses to further prove that Melaye did not win the
election and should not have been declared the winner.

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The witnesses were Adeyemi, who was the star witness, the
Director-General, Adeyemi Campaign Organisation, Adoga Ibrahim, and the
Kogi west zonal Chairman of APC, Ropo Asala, who were also
cross-examined by the respondents’ counsels.

Adeyemi’s counsel said the change of collation centres gave room for
all the manipulations, tampering, mutilations of results sheets and
other irregularities witnessed in the election results.

He also prayed the court to admit the INEC letter of a certified true
copy of the list of PVC distributions in the senatorial axis which
indicate over voting in three of the challenged LGAs of Yagba West,
Lokoja and Ijumu.

However, counsel to 2nd and 3rd Respondents, (PDP and INEC) asked the
tribunal to reject the INEC letter of PVC distribution because it was
not “listed or front-loaded” by the petitioners at the beginning of the
petition.

Chairman of the three-man panel, Justice O. A Chijoke declined to
accept INEC letter of PVC distribution, saying it should be marked as
“tendered but rejected”.

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