News Beyond Boundaries

Smart Adeyemi drags Melaye to tribunal over Kogi West election

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By Toby Prince

The All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate in kogi West Senatorial district, Senator Smart Adeyemi has filed a petition against the election of Dino Melaye.

Adeyemi, a two-time Senator and former president of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) said a lot of inflation of votes and over-voting were perpetrated at the polls and even at the collation centre.

He also alleged that with the Certified True Copies of results at his disposal, it was evident that mutilated figures were announced in favour of Melaye.

He said contrary to a ruling of the Federal High Court, obtained by Melaye, that the results for Kogi West District be collated in Kabba (the headquarters of the district), INEC for no other reasons moved the collation to Lokoja, which led to manipulation of results.

That a lot of inflation of votes and over-voting were perpetrated at the polls and even at the collation centre to ensure that the 1st Respondent (Melaye) is declared as winner.

“The petitioner avers that the collation and declaration of the results of the election was done by INEC and its officers at Lokoja contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act.

“In the circumstance, false and fabricated entries were made in the Forms EC8A in the various wards of the Kogi West Senatorial District and by this act invented well over 18,000 votes in favour of Melaye

“That significant instances of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act and arbitrariness were perpetrated at the polling units by agents of the 2nd Respondent (the People’s Democratic Party) and INEC to effect the voting of Melaye by allowing manual voting and allowing unregistered voters and under-age to vote in six local government areas of the seven local government areas of Kogi West Senatorial District.”

He sought a “declaration that the Certificate of Return issued by the INEC to Melaye as the  winner of senatorial election for Kogi West Senatorial District held on February 23, 2019 is null and void and of no effect whatsoever”.

He asked for an order “cancelling the results of the six local governments in the district, namely Lokoja Local Government, Kabba/ Bunu LGA, Ijumu LGA, Yagba West LGA, Yagba East LGA and Mopa-Amuro LGA for non-compliance with the Electoral Act and for the 1st  respondent not being elected by majority of lawful votes due to over-voting”.

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