An election petition filed against the Senator of the Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Dino Melaye was dismissed this morning at the tribunal in Lokoja, the Kogi State Capital.
The Elections’ Petition Tribunals are the equivalents of high courts that handle judicial petitions. These petitions may arise from the conduct of the polls conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Aggrieved parties are allowed to file such petitions within a stipulated time frame, after which the referenced poll is deemed validly conducted.
Senator Melaye asked the Election Petition Tribunal to strike out the petition of Senator Smart Adeyemi, who is challenging his victory as winner of the Kogi West senatorial election, arguing that the pre-hearing motion was filed by the petitioner a day after the deadline.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial candidate, Smart Adeyemi, who alleged that the election was fraught with irregularities, filed the petition. Adeyemi said that the winner-declared by INEC, Senator Dino Melaye, did not win the election.
“Melaye was declared the winner of the election because of wrong and/or incorrect computation of lawful votes cast and intentional omission of collating results of the polling units won by the petitioners and counting of spoilt ballots in his favour,” Adeyemi stated in a statement cited by Vanguard.
The petitioner, Smart Adeyemi wanted the tribunal to order INEC to conduct another election, or declare him, instead, as the winner.
The tribunal however dismissed the petition this morning, citing lack of merit.
INEC originally announced Dino Melaye winner of the election with 41,120 votes. Smart Adeyemi of the PDP had 38,148 votes.