The Court of Appeal, Abuja Division, on Friday quashed the victory of Senator Dino Melaye as the senator representing Kogi West.
A three-member panel of the appellate court, led by Justice Yahaya Dantijo in a unanimous decision affirmed the judgment of the tribunal who had nullified Melaye’s victory and order for reelection.
Melaye through his counsel, Joash Amputan had on September 5, asked the appellant court to set aside the tribunals judgment because they were a miscarriage of justice.
He said the mutilation of result sheet relied upon by the tribunal to quashed his client election was because of ways of correcting errors.
He also urged the court to disregard the tribunal’s verdict relying on the detected over voting, said the figures were not in concordance with the numbers of voters in the affected wards and local government areas.
But counsel to Senator Smart Adeyemi, Mr. Dapo Otitoju said the mutilation of result sheet was done by INEC in connivance with Dino’s men to cover up the rigging.
He also said the 48,200 over voting that was detected in the election was uncovered through INEC certified true copy of PVC distributed in the senatorial axis.
He said the rigging was carried out in so much bad light that the result of the election issued read February 26, 2019, instead of February 23, 2019, when the election was conducted.
He, therefore, prayed the appellate court to disregard the petitioner’s counsel and uphold the tribunal’s judgment, saying the appeal is incompetent and lacking merit.
Justice Dantijoin his judgement upheld the tribunal’s verdict, he also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the certificate of return given to Senator Dino Melaye and conduct a fresh election within the time frame of the law.
Melaye confirmed this in a tweet on his official Twitter handle.
I just lost my election at the Appeal Court and Fresh election ordered. In all things I give God the Praise. He who started a good thing will definitely complete it. I ask my supporters to be law abiding as we shall always overcome. To God be the Glory.
— Senator Dino Melaye. (SDM) (@dino_melaye)