KOGI WEST SENATORIAL ELECTION: SMART ADEYEMI BATTLES DINO AT TRIBUNAL, TENDERS OVER-VOTING EVIDENCE

Former chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, and the All Progressives Congres senatorial candidate for Kogi West, during the National Assembly election, Senator Smart Adeyemi,  has tendered certified copies of the lists of Permanent Voters Cards for two local government areas to the state National Assembly/ State Assembly Election Tribunal to prove there was  over-voting during the senatorial poll.

The PVCs of the local governments tendered were 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.

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 People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Melaye’s counsels, O. Jolaawo and Olowookere, at the tribunal, on two issues bordering on the admission of the Federal High Court ruling and the acceptance of the lists of PVCs.

Adeyemi’s legal team said: “The argument centered 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.

“The issue of Kabba being the headquarters of Kogi West Senatorial District is a constitutional provision and the Electoral Act. Also the Certified True Copy of PVCs distribution from INEC office Lokoja indicates that the votes from two local governments were almost thrice the number of PVCs distributed. “The two local governments where over-voting took place are Ijumu and Lokoja governments.”

Under cross- examination,  Adeyemi told the tribunal that he, alongside APC Kogi West senatorial Chairman, Hon. Ropo Asala, and other party agents were waiting in Kabba, for the arrival of the senatorial collation and returning officers for the results from the seven local governments in Kogi West for the final collation and announcement only to be told that INEC officers had left for Lokoja.

He said: “There were extreme mutilations, alterations of figures along Kabba-Lokoja highway, where the results were illegally collated and announced.”

After two hours of cross-examination, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice A. O. Chijioke, authorised acceptance of the Lokoja Federal High Court’s verdict; as evidence.

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