by WALE IBRAHIM


Apparently not satisfied by the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, after the last National Assembly election, senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, has headed for the Election Petition Tribunal to register his displeasure over outcome of the election.

The petition, which was submitted on Friday at the National Assembly Petition Tribunal, sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, identified some alleged irregularities in the conduct and result declared by INEC on March 28, 2015 National Assembly election and prayed the tribunal to declare him winner of the election.

Adeyemi, who contested the senatorial election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, scored 38,148 votes, while Dino Melaye of the All Progressives Congress, APC, scored 41,120 and was declared winner by INEC.

Not satisfied with the result, Adeyemi in a petition filed through his lawyer J.O. Olatoke (SAN), averred that Dino Melaye was not duly elected or returned by majority of the lawful votes cast at the election for Kogi West Senatorial District held on 28 March, 2015.

The petition also declared that the petitioner, Senator Smart Adeyemi, had scored majority of lawful votes cast at the election and ought to have been declared winner and returned as elected, adding that the declaration and return of Melaye was wrongful and invalid.

It added that Melaye was declared winner of the election because of wrong and/or incorrect computation of lawful votes cast and intentional omission of collating results of the polling units won by the petitioner, and counting of spoilt ballots in his favour.

Adeyemi is also seeking an order withdrawing or nullifying the Certificate of Return already issued to Melaiye as winner of the election and an order directing INEC to issue a certificate of return to him, the petitioner, because he scored the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election contrary to the result declared by INEC in favour of Melaye.

“That Dino Melaye, who is first respondent, was not qualified as at the time of the election to contest for Kogi West Senatorial District by reason of substantial non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) therefore, seeking his disqualification as candidate for the election,” the petition stated.

Adeyemi is also asking the tribunal to order INEC to conduct a fresh election into the Kogi West Senatorial District on the basis of irregularities identified.

Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for hearing of the petition.

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