The Kogi State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal, sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday dismissed the petition filed by former Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, to challenge the victory of his successor, Senator Smart Adeyemi, at the November 2019 by-election.
Delivering judgment on the petition, the three-man panel led by Justice Isa Sambo, unanimously affirmed Adeyemi’s election as the winner of the disputed poll.
The rerun, which held in 53 polling units on November 30, 2019, was ordered in the judgment of the Court of Appeal which nullified Melaye’s victory in the main election which earlier held in March 2019.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress, who garnered 88,373 votes as the winner of the poll.
INEC declared that he defeated Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party who polled 62,133.
But Melaye had in his petition urged the tribunal to declare him the winner of the election or order a fresh election.
Melaye with his party as co-petitioner had joined INEC, the APC and Adeyemi as the respondents to the petition.
But in its judgment on Wednesday, the tribunal held that both Melaye and his party failed to prove their claims in the petition.
It held that the evidence of the witnesses called by the petitioners was discredited during cross-examination and turned out to be “worthless, unreliable and unmerited statement”, and as such could not be relied on.
(c) June 2020