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Kogi West: Tribunal dismisses Dino Melaye’s petition upholds Smart Adeyemi as winner

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The Kogi State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday upheld the election of Senator Smart Adeyemi as the senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District.

The judgement was  passed by a three-man panel led by Justice Kashim Kaigama, which unanimously dismissed the petition of former Senator Dino Melaye for lacking in merit.

The tribunal had in March reserved judgment on the petition filed by Dino Melaye challenging the emergence of Senator Adeyemi as winner of the Kogi West Senatorial rerun election.

Senator Smart Adeyemi was declared winner in the senatorial rerun of Kogi West senatorial district by the Independent National Electoral Commission  (INEC) in November 2019   announcing that Adeyemi has majority of lawful votes cast at the Kogi West senatorial poll.

In response to INEC’s declaration, Dino Melaye had approached the election tribunal to challenge the results of the election.

Melaye had asked the tribunal to nullify the election of Adeyemi and declare him winner of the poll, claiming he scored the highest number of valid votes.

According to Melaye’s claims, that the November 16 senatorial rerun election was marred by violence, over-voting, manipulation of figures and other irregularities and called for the total cancellation of the affected areas and thereby declare him the winner of the election.

But delivering judgment in the petition Wednesday, the panel in a unanimous decision held that the petitioners failed to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubts.

According to the panel, the evidence of witnesses called by the petitioners were contradictory and as such unreliable.

The panel further held that claims of over voting and other alleged electoral malpractices were not substantiated both from documents presented and testimonies of witnesses.

The panel accordingly dismissed the petition for lacking in merit.

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