BREAKING: Appeal Court sacks Dino Melaye as Senator, orders fresh election

Senator Dino Melaye has lost his bid at the Appeal Court to uphold his mandate as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

As the case came up Friday morning, the appellate court affirmed the decision of the election petition tribunal which had earlier sacked Dino Melaye as the senator representing Kogi West.

The court, however, ordered the conduct of a fresh election in Kogi West senatorial district.

The Appeal Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, upheld the decision of the election petitions tribunal that nullified the election of Senator Dino Melaye.

A three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Yahaya Dantijo, in a unanimous decision, affirmed the judgment of the tribunal who had nullified Melaye’s victory earlier and ordered for reelection.

Justice Dantijo affirmed the tribunal’s verdict, asking 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’s counsel, Joash Amputan had on September 5, prayed the appellant court to set aside the tribunal’s judgment because they were a miscarriage of justice.

He said the mutilation of result sheet relied upon by the tribunal to nullify his client election were the ways of correcting errors.

He also urged the court to disregard the tribunal’s verdict relying on the detected over voting.

He added that the figures were not in concordance with the numbers of voters in the affected wards and local government areas.

Counsel to Sen. 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 added that said 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 petitioners’ counsel prayers and uphold the tribunal’s judgment.

He submitted that the appeal is incompetent and lacking in merit.

NAN reports that Aug. 23, the Kogi National Assembly election tribunal nullified the election of  Melaye.

Melaye, a candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was declared the winner of the February election by the Independent National Electoral Commission.

His victory was challenged in court by Adeyemi, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Adeyemi challenged Melaye’s victory on three grounds of irregularities, over voting and non-compliance with the electoral acts.

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