Kogi election

The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has fixed Monday, May 27, 2024, to deliver judgement on the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its governorship candidate, Murtala Ajaka, against the election victory of Governor Usman Ododo.

The three-member panel of justices, headed by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, announced the date in a message communicated to counsel for the parties through Secretary David Mike and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

Kogi State had, on November 11, 2023, held its off-cycle election in which Ododo of the All Progressive Congress (APC) emerged winner beating Ajaka of the SDP by a wide margin.

Ajaka, dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, filed a petition before the tribunal to challenge Ododo’s victory.

The case, which commenced in December 2023, came to its highest point on May 13 when SDP, Ajaka, APC, Ododo, and Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) adopted their final written addresses, after which the tribunal reserved judgement in the petition.

Gunmen attack Kogi election panel secretary, steal governorship petitions

INEC, APC, and Ododo prayed the tribunal to dismiss Ajaka and SDP’s petition in its entirety for being incompetent and lacking in merit.

INEC, APC, and Ododo, through their lawyers – Kanu Agabi (SAN), Joseph Daudu (SAN), and Emmanuel Ukala (SAN) – made the prayers while adopting their final written addresses and presenting their arguments against the petition.

However, Ajaka’s lawyer, Pius Akubo (SAN), urged the tribunal to discount the respondents’ submissions and uphold their petition.

In his argument, INEC’s lawyer, Agabi, told the panel that the petition lacked merit and was incompetent, urging the court to strike it out or dismiss it.

“It is our humble submission that your work in the determination of this petition is simplified in recent judgments by Court of Appeal and Supreme Court,” he said.

He argued that the Appeal Court had decided that if the grounds of a petition are inconsistent with one another and are not consistent with the reliefs, it should be struck out.

He also argued that the evidence of the petitioners were grossly insufficient, citing a Supreme Court decision in a case by Tonye Cole against INEC.

The lawyer, who described the case as frivolous, prayed the tribunal to strike out or dismiss the petition for being incompetent.

Ododo, through his counsel, Daudu, also urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition in its entirety.

The Star



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here