Adeyemi/Melaye

The National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal holding in Lokoja, Kogi State at its last sitting in Lokoja, admitted the certified true copies of critical exhibits in the National Assembly election tribunal suit between Senators Smart Adeyemi and Dino Melaye.

The duo are contesting the veracity of the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which gave victory to the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Melaye.

Counsel to Senator Adeyemi, Dr. J.A Olatoke, had moved motions before the Tribunal, asking it to allow INEC present report of the vote recounting as ordered by the court.

The documents contained in 22 bags indicated that parties to the suit had discovered over 3,000 votes considered as invalid, void and votes of other parties most of which were wrongly counted in favour of the APC.

One of the documents also indicated that the candidate of the APC, Dino Melaye did not emerge through primaries in line with the Electoral Act.

The Electoral Commission, which had three weeks ago changed its counsel and brought in Barrister Adeola Salako, who also withdrew the Commission’s earlier written reply to the petition filed in April, through an oral application.

But the INEC also submitted two documents including a letter written by the Commission containing a report of the failure of the APC to conduct primaries in Kogi West senatorial district.

Counsel to Melaye, Ayotunde Ogunleye and that of the APC, Chukwudi Ani had opposed the submission of the documents, claiming that the procedure was against the Electoral Act.

But the Tribunal headed by Justice Akon Ikpeme ruled after a two hour adjournment that the documents be admitted as exhibits.

The sitting also saw Senator Adeyemi’s star witness Fehinti Dada, acknowledging all the certified true copies of the results of the 21 disputed polling units in Kabba/Bunnu; Ijumu;Kogi and Lokoja local government areas.

He equally acknowledged the reports of alleged irregularities in the disputed 21 units, resulting from claim of irregularities, misplacement of votes and misuse of customised result sheets.

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