Kogi West: Melaye’s bid to sack Adeyemi fails at Appeal Court

Dino Melaye, left, and Smart Adeyemi

The bid by Senator Dino Melaye to return to the Senate was finally consigned to the dustbin on Tuesday as the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja dismissed the petition he filed  for upturning of the victory of Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the November 2019 by-election into the Kogi West Senatorial District.

Melaye, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP had asked the appellate court to declare him the winner of the senatorial election.

Kogi  National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal had earlier dismissed the request while affirming Adeyemi’s election.

On Tuesday, a panel of appeal court led by Justice Ibrahim  in a unanimous judgement concurred with the ruling of the lower court, declaring that there is no merit in the request of Melaye and his party, the PDP.

The court held that, “We have protocol and we cannot go outside the purview of the law”, and consequently struck out the appeal for being incompetent and upheld the judgment of the Kogi State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed the election of Senator Adeyemi.

Melaye had in the petition told the tribunal that the re-run election was marred by violence, over-voting, manipulation of figures and other irregularities and called for total cancellation of the affected areas and declare him the winner of the election.

He claimed  that the 88,373 votes with which Adeyemi secured victory were obtained  through manipulation of figures in Lokoja and other local government areas.

But in its judgment, the tribunal held that both Melaye and his party  failed to prove the allegations beyond reasonable doubt as required by law.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Adeyemi as the winner of the November 2019 Senatorial rerun election after winning majority of lawful votes cast at the Kogi West senatorial poll, a declaration Melaye disagreed with and approached the tribunal to challenge the results