THE Election Petition Tribu­nal sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, Tuesday accepted the close of defence of the All Progressive Congress and Dino Melaiye in the case brought by Smart Adeyemi challenging the election of Melaiye as the senator repre­senting the Kogi West Senato­rial District.

At the resumed hearing of the case, APC and Melaiye had brought three witnesses to counter the allegations of the petitioner (Smart Adey­emi) that the election was fraught with irregularities and that the APC candidate never participated in any party pri­mary election before he con­tested for the general election.

But a witness brought from the Independent Na­tional Electoral Commission, (INEC), Abuja office, Ibrahim Sanni Mohammed stunned members of the Tribunal when he said the commis­sion monitored the conduct of the APC primary election contrary to the stand of INEC office in the state which was documented via the INEC lawyer, that Melaiye did not participate in the party pri­mary before was presented as the APC candidate.

While under cross exami­nation by Adeyemi’s counsel, Olakayode Olatoke(,SAN) ,the witness said the supeana summoning him to the tri­bunal was addressed to him directly rather than being ad­dressed to the commission to nominate witness as it used to be.

The witness under cross ex­amination also said he did not know the INEC official that conducted the primary but was only availled the report of the exercise, mentioning two different locations where the primary was conducted.

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