The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Friday ordered that a petition filed by Sen. Smart Adeyemi against the decision of the Kogi State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal which earlier dismissed it be remitted to the tribunal for “trial on merit.’’
The tribunal had dismissed the petition of Adeyemi of PDP seeking to nullify the election of incumbent Sen. Dino Melaye of APC), over alleged electoral malpractices, for late filing.
Delivering judgment, Justice Muhammed Adume, who led the three-man panel of the Court of Appeal, held that the tribunal was wrong in striking out Adeyemi’s petition on the grounds of technicalities, instead of substantial justice.
Justice Adume nullified the tribunal’s decision that the petitioner did not file his petition within the time frame allowed by law.
According to the appellate court, the respondents did not provide sufficient evidence before the tribunal to prove the case of late filing against the petitioner.
It would be recalled that Justice Akon Ikpeme, the chairman of the three-man panel, had in his judgment of June 18, 2015, held that the Kogi West ex-Senator’s case was “incurably defective, and dismissed Adeyemi’s petition.
Adeyemi, a ranking Senator, was defeated by Melaye, a former Reps member, in the Kogi-West Senatorial District contest during the March 28 National Assembly elections.