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Author Melaye vs Adeyemi: What happened at election tribunal on Monday  (Read 278 times)

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Offline naijatowns

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Melaye vs Adeyemi: What happened at election tribunal on Monday

 


The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Kogi West senatorial district, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has closed his case before the National and State Assembly Election Tribunal that is adjudicating on the February 23 National Assembly election.

Adeyemi was challenging the declaration of the incumbent lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye (1st respondent), as the winner of the poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

At the resumed sitting of the tribunal in Abuja on Monday, counsel to the petitioner, Chief Toyin Adeniyi, called three witnesses to further prove that Melaye did not win the election and should not have been declared the winner of the election.

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.

The petitioner, however, told the tribunal that the Kogi High Court judgement had declared that elections collation, announcement and other matters as regarded Kogi west election should be carried out at the district headquarters in Kabba and not in Lokoja.

Adeyemi told the tribunal that the change of collation centre by INEC from Kabba to Lokoja allowed the respondents to engage in alleged manipulations, tampering, mutilations of results sheets and other irregularities witnessed in the election results.

Apart from the judgment, Adeyemi also urged the court to admit the certified true copy of the list of Permanent Voters Card (PVC) distributions originated by INEC in the senatorial axis.

However, the Peoples Democratic Party, which was the second and the INEC, third respondent did not challenge the admissibility of the High court judgment but asked the tribunal to reject that of the 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, however, admitted the court judgment as evidence but declined the PVC distribution, saying it should be marked as “tendered but rejected.”

The tribunal subsequently adjourned to June 10 and gave the respondents 15 days to open and close their defence.

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