Smart Adeyemi asks tribunal to nullify Melaye’s victory, prays for fresh poll
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), for Kogi west senatorial district seat in the national assembly, Smart Adeyemi, has asked the National and State Assemblies Election Petition Tribunal to nullify the outcome of the election and order a fresh one.
He contended that the election was marred with irregularities and was not conducted according to the provisions of the electoral act.
Adeyemi in the petition filed before the tribunal sitting at the Magistrate court, Wuse, Abuja by his counsel, Adekunle Otitoju, averred that Dino Melaye, that was declared winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) did not score the highest number of lawful votes cast during the election.
The petition filed before the tribunal headed by Justice O. A. Chijoke, prayed the tribunal for a total cancellation of the result in the six local government areas won by Melaye as declared by the commission as nobody should benefit from the irregularities.
According to the petition, the Kogi west senatorial election was conducted contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act and the ruling of a federal high court.
The petitioner argued that the federal high court, sitting in Lokoja had ruled that the collation and announcement of result of the election should be done in Kabba, which is the headquarters of the senatorial district.
He, however, said contrary to the ruling which was obtained by the PDP and its candidate, the commission went ahead to collate and announce the result of the election in Lokoja after the result had been manipulated.
Adeyemi, who represented the senatorial district between 2007 and 2015, also told the tribunal that there was a massive irregularity in the number of vote cast when compared with the total number of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) issued by INEC.
The petition argued that it had been established that in many of the local government areas, the total number of votes recorded were far higher than the number of PVC that the record of INEC showed to have been issued out.
Speaking with newsmen after the pre-hearing sitting of the tribunal, Adeyemi said he approached the tribunal to expose the irregularities and manipulations that characterised election in Kogi west.
He said: “We have about four issues that we want the court to determine for us, the first one is that there was court ruling based on the case filed by my opponent that the collation of result should be at the senatorial headquarters, unfortunately for them they went to a different venue which was the state capital, Lokoja to collate the result, which is contrary to the provisions of the electoral law and the constitution.
“Kabba is our senatorial headquarters but they collated in Lokoja, in the process they stopped over along the way and they manipulated the result and changed figures, they changed the result in such a manner that one could see that something went wrong.
“The second issue is that we made a request to INEC for the record of PVC distribution which will determine the number of votes, the PVC determines who votes but to our dismay, based on the INEC documents they gave to us we discovered that in some of the local governments the votes were three times more than the number of the PVCs distributed, so the question is should the votes be higher than the PVCs?
“We care also at the tribunal to let the world know that PDP didn’t win the election, what they succeeded in doing is to manipulate the system, while we were waiting in Kabba, the senatorial headquarters, which was part of the ruling of the federal high court, they took the bypass and went to Lokoja to collate, on their way to Lokoja they stopped over and manipulated the result.
“If one sees the result it will be discovered that it was totally mutilated, the mutilation occurred in the process of going to Lokoja to do the collation contrary to the provisions of the constitution and the ruling of the court in a case filed by Dino Melaye himself that the collation must be in Kabba.”
Adeyemi argued that PDP and Melaye never won the election as he was not on ground and he did not campaign throughout the electioneering period, asking the tribunal to order a fresh election.