Adeyemi/Melaye

…Adeyemi’s petition is baseless – Melaye

A former Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Federal Capital Territory, Sen. Smart Adeyemi, has asked the National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal to nullify the election of Senator Dino Melaye.

But Melaye asked the tribunal to dismiss Adeyemi’s petition for being grossly incompetent, a regrettable waste of time, incurably bad and unmeritorious.

Adeyemi made the submissions in the final written address presented to the tribunal by his counsel namely Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), Prince Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), Dr. Kayode Olatoke (SAN), A.O. Otitoju and T.O. Adeboye.

The copy of the written address was obtained by our correspondent from the tribunal.

Citing 53 authorities, Adeyemi said he scored majority of the lawful votes of 36,100 compared with Melaye’s votes of 33, 146.

He also said Melaye was not qualified to contest the March 28 Senatorial election because he was not a product of valid primaries in All Progressives Congress (APC).

Adeyemi said: “Melaye is not a product of any valid primaries of the 2nd Respondent (APC). Furthermore, a careful perusal of Exhibit 32(3) which is the purported report of INEC to evidence the conduct of APC Primary is not even on the letter headed paper of INEC nor that of APC and a careful reading of its heading will show its dubious status.

“The document, therefore, constitutes documentary hearsay and has no probative or evidential value.

Making reference to Supreme Court’s decision on Ojukwu v. Yar’Adua( 2009), Adeyemi urged the court to discountenance Melaye’s attempt to adduce fresh facts.

He added: “Having said that, it is respectfully submitted that any evidence adduced contrary to the pleadings goes to no issue.”

Adeyemi sought the following reliefs: “We urge your Lordships to grant all the reliefs sought by the petitioners based on the following settled points:

“The petitioners have proved their case based on unchallenged oral and documentary evidence adduced by them.

“On the state of the pleadings, the respondents did not join issues with the petitioners on the key and crucial aspects of the petitioners’ case.

“The oral and documentary evidence of the petitioners were not challenged at all by the respondents. In fact, the respondents did not produce counter oral or documentary evidence against same.

“When the unlawful votes are deducted from the votes of the parties, the 1st petitioner will have the majority of lawful votes as shown in the address.

“Alternatively to disqualify the 1st respondent (Sen. Dino Melaye), nullify the election and order a fresh election.

But in his submission, Sen. Dino Melaye, through his lead counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), said he was validly elected by the people of Kogi West Senatorial District.

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