By Boluwaji Obahopo
Lokoja—Senator Smart Adeyemi has closed his case before the National/House of Assembly Election Tribunal where he challenged the pronouncement of Senator Dino Melaye as the winner of Kogi West 2019 senatorial election.
Counsel to Adeyemi, Chief Toyin Adeniyi before closing his case, called on three witnesses; Senator Smart Adeyemi (Star witness); The Director General Adeyemi Campaign Organization, Mr. Adoga Ibrahim and the Kogi West Zonal Chairman of APC, Mr. Ropo Asala who were also cross-examined by the respondent’s counsel.
A former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Senator Adeyemi has tendered the certified copies of the lists of Permanent Voters Cards for two local government areas to the Kogi National Assembly/ State Assembly Election Tribunal where alleged over-voting took place during the Senatorial poll.
The PVCs of the local governments tendered are those of Ijumu and Lokoja.
Adeyemi, who is battling Senator Dino Melaye at the tribunal for Kogi West Senatorial District, also submitted a court judgment which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to collate results in Kabba, which is the headquarters of the district.
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Although the court judgment on Kabba was secured by Dino ahead of the 2019 poll, INEC collated and announced the results in Lokoja in defiance of the court order.
Adeyemi’s team, led by Chief Anthony alongside Dapo Otitoju, engaged the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and Melaye’s counsel,(O. Jolaawo and Olowookere) at the tribunal on two issues bordering on the admission of the Federal High Court ruling and acceptance of the lists of PVCs.
Adeyemi’s legal team said: “The argument centred on the admissibility or otherwise of the ruling of the Federal High Court, Lokoja procured by the 1st respondent as to whether to collate the senatorial district results in Lokoja or in Kabba which is the senatorial district headquarters.
“Not collating and announcing the February 23rd National Assembly election results of Kogi West Senatorial District in Kabba, the senatorial headquarters amounted to a breach of not just the ruling of the Federal High Court, Lokoja but the 1999 Constitution.
Senatorial District held on the 23rd of February, 2019 is null and void and of no effect whatsoever.”
He asked for an order “cancelling the results of the entire six local governments in the district, namely Lokoja Local Government, Kabba/ Bunu LGA, Ijumu LGA, Yagba West LGA, Yagba East LGA, 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.”