Tribunal stikes out Ogembe’s suit against Akpoti, adopts SDP’s petitions

The Kogi National and State Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja has struck out the petition of Senator Ahmed Ogembe against the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), for Kogi central senatorial district, Natasha Akpoti.

Ogembe of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had sought to challenge the credibility of Akpoti to participate in the last Kogi central senatorial election.

The tribunal headed by Justice O. A Chijoke, at the pre-hearing trial held in Abuja, however, adopted Akpoti’s petition brought against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its candidate in the election Yakubu Oseni.

The tribunal chairman ruled that Akpoti was not declared by the INEC as the winner of the election and she cannot be a respondent to the suit of Ogembe.

The tribunal, however, adopted the SDP candidate’s suit on the outcome of the election.

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Apart from this, the tribunal also ruled on the consolidation of all the petitions brought against the election, which was opposed by the respondent.

Counsel to the APC candidate, P. D Daudu, had challenged the motion as moved by Akpoti’s counsel, Ekele Oboriole, that the two petitions on the election should be consolidated.

Ruling on the motion, the tribunal said, “where two or more petitions are filed on the same matter, all petitions shall be consolidated and wouldn’t be treated differently.

“Therefore we hereby granted that petition number 2 and 8 be consolidated and be treated as one.”

The tribunal chairman adjourned the hearing to May 11, 2019, for the continuation of pretrial.

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