Dino Melaye appeals Kogi tribunal’s judgement

Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi West)
Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi West)

Dino Melaye, the senator whose election was nullified by the Kogi State election tribunal in Lokoja, has appealed the August 23 judgement, Punch newspaper reports.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi West) was sacked by the election tribunal in Kogi.

Delivering the said judgment, the three-member panel led by Justice A. O. Chijioke unanimously held that the election was marred by widespread malpractices.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Melaye scored 85,395 votes to defeat his main opponent, Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (AP) who polled 66,902 votes.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, the APC candidate filed the petition challenging Mr Melaye’s declaration by INEC as the winner of the election.

Mr Adeyemi hinged the petition on three grounds of irregularities, overvoting and non- compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

The panel said only a fresh election would settle the disputes that emanated from the conduct of the election.

The panel, therefore, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election for the senatorial district within 90 days.

Mr Melaye, who is expected to continue in office until the appeal court determines the case, has filed 23 grounds of appeal before the Court of Appeal in Abuja to challenge the tribunal’s judgment.

The respondents in Mr Melaye’s appeal are Smart Adeyemi, the All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) and INEC.

In his notice of appeal dated September 5, Mr Melaye urged the Court of Appeal to dismiss the petition filed by Mr Adeyemi and confirm his victory.

The senator’s appeal was filed on his behalf by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Rickey Tarfa.

Mr Melaye contended that the person sued at the tribunal as “Senator Dino Melaye” was not the same person as the person who contested the poll and declared the winner of the election as contained in Form CF001 – “Melaye Daniel Dino”.

Part of the appeal read this; “The provision of the law is that the name as used in Form CF001 is the only valid name that can be used to challenge the election of the appellant.

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“The principle of equity accepted and applied by the majority members of the tribunal cannot override the provisions of the law in respect of the petition.

“The judgment of the tribunal was perverse and against the weight of evidence before it.”

Mr Melaye was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2007 to represent Kabba/Ijumu Federal Constituency.

The outspoken lawmaker served two terms and later contested and won election as a senator representing Kogi West in 2015.

He contested the February 2019 senatorial election and was declared the winner by INEC.

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