By Henry Oduah – October 11, 2019
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the judgement of the National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal in Lokoja, Kogi State which sacked Dino Melaye as the Senator for Kogi West Senatorial District.
A three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Yahaya Dantijo, in a unanimous decision on Friday, affirmed the judgement of the tribunal and ordered that fresh elections be conducted in the district.
Melaye through his counsel, Joash Amputan, had on September 5 asked the appellant court to set aside the tribunal’s judgement, describing it as a miscarriage.
He said the mutilation of result sheet relied upon by the tribunal to quash his client’s election were because of ways of correcting errors.
He also urged the court to disregard the tribunal’s verdict relying on the detected over-voting.
Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the election, Smart Adeyemi, filed the petition at the tribunal against Melaye’s victory.
Adeyemi’s counsel, Dapo Otitoju, told the appeal court that the mutilation of result sheets were allegedly done by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in connivance with Melaye’s aides.
He also said the 48,200 cases of over-voting detected in the election were uncovered through INEC’s certified true copy of PVC distributed in the senatorial district.
Justice Dantijo ordered INEC to withdraw the certificate of return given to Melaye and conduct a fresh election within the time frame of the law.