The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday has nullified the victory of Senator Dino Melaye as senator for Kogi West.
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 and ordered for reelection.
Melaye’s counsel, Joash Amputan had on September 5, asked the appellant court to set aside the tribunals judgment because they were miscarriage of justice.
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He said the mutilation of result sheet relied upon by the tribunal to nullify his client election were because of ways of correcting errors.
Vanguard reports that he also urged the court to disregard the tribunals verdict relying on the detected over voting, said the figures was not in concordance with the numbers of voters in the affected wards and local government areas.
But counsel to Senator 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.
He said the rigging was carried out in so much bad light that the result of the election issued read February 26, 2019 instead of February 23, 2019 when the election was conducted.
He therefore prayed the appeal to disregard the petitioners counsel and uphold the tribunals judgment, saying the appeal is incompetent and lacking merit.
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.