The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday ordered a fresh election in Kogi West Senatorial district in Kogi State throwing out the appeal of the Senator representing district, Senator Dino Melaye.
A three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Yahaya Dantijo, in a unanimous decision affirmed the judgment of the tribunal who had nullified Melaye’s victory earlier and ordered for
Justice Dantijo affirmed the tribunal’s verdict, asking the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the certificate of return given to Senator Dino Melaye and conduct a fresh election within the time frame of the law.
Melaye’s counsel, Joash Amputan had on Sept. 5, prayed the appellant court to set aside the tribunal’s judgment because they were miscarriage of justice.
He said the mutilation of result sheet relied upon by the tribunal to nullify his client election were the ways of correcting errors.
He also urged the court to disregard the tribunals verdict relying on the detected over voting.
He added that the figures was not in concordance with the numbers of voters in the affected wards and local government areas.
Counsel to Sen. Smart Adeyemi, Mr Dapo Otitoju said the mutilation of result sheet was done by INEC in connivance with Dino’s men to cover up the rigging.
He also said the 48,200 over voting that was detected in the election was uncovered through INEC certified true copy of PVC distributed in the senatorial axis.
Melaye had in his twitter handle announced that he had lost the appeal, saying, “I just lost my election at the Appeal Court and Fresh election ordered,” Melaye tweeted on Friday.
Melaye, a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared the winner of the February election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
His victory was however challenged in court by Smart Adeyemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Adeyemi challenged Melaye’s victory on three grounds of irregularities, over voting and non-compliance with the electoral acts.