Posted By: WALE IBRAHIM
The Kogi State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja Kogi State has fixed Monday August 31 for a ruling in a two applications filed by the counsel of Dino Melaiye in a petition filed against him by Senator Smart Adeyemi against Malaiye the declared winner of the March 28 National Assembly election.
The Counsel to Senator Dino Melaiye, Mr Ayo Ogunleye has filed application to clarify whether party primary is a pre- or post election matter He is also raised technical issues on the re- counted votes in the disputed 21 polling units of Lokoja council area of the state.
The Chairman of tribunal Justice Akinniyi Akintola after listening to both counsels of petitioner and respondent however fixed the ruling on two applications for Monday August 31. It would be recalled that Smart Adeyemi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Dino Melaiye of the All Progressive Congress ( APC)’are both candidates for the Kogi West Senatorial Districts of March 28 National Assembly election.
However Smart Adeyemi had petitioned the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja against the victory of the declared winner of the election Dino Melaye in the National Assembly election and sought five prayers including nullification and withdrawal of Melaiye’s Certificate of Return and declaring him (petitioner) the winner of the March 28, 2015 election.
The former Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Akon Ikpeme had before dismissed the petition saying it ran foul of the Electoral Act saying that “We are bound by our records that this tribunal accepts that the petitioners were served on May 13, 2015 at 3:57 pm as confirmed by the court’s records and hold that the reply was filed on the 6th day and therefore, out of time.
We hold that the petitioners’ reply is incompetent as it was filed out of time and is hereby, struck out”. Adeyemi however appealed against the ruling of the Tribunal and the Appelate court set aside the ruling of the Tribunal and ordered for re- trial faulted the hasty ways and manners the petition was thrown out by the Tribunal headed by Justice Akpan Ikpeme on June 18, 2015, on technicalities, which it noted were not backed up by laws.
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