The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed the appeal filed by Dino Melaye, challenging the victory of Senator Smart Adeyemi as winner of Kogi West Senatorial District election.
A three-man panel of the court unanimously resolved all seven issues, identified for determination, against the appellant (Melaye).
The panel upheld the judgment delivered on June 10, 2020 by the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, (which sat in Abuja), which affirmed the declaration of Adeyemi as winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The appellate court, which struck out Adeyemi’s preliminary objection, awarded N50, 000 cost against Melaye and in favour of the respondents.
It was earlier reported that the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Smart Adeyemi, won the Kogi West senatorial district election polling a total of 88,373 votes to beat Senator Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 62,133 votes.
Ambassador Rufus Aiyenigba of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) came third in the poll with 659 votes and was trailed by John Olabode and Adeyemi Taiwo of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) and Nigeria Elements Progressive Party (NEPP who) garnered 262 and 119 votes respectively.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the APC candidate as the winner of the keenly contested election two weeks after the people of the senatorial district went to the poll.
This came after the supplementary poll conducted by INEC following the November 16 rerun election which failed to produce a winner.It was said to have been marred by violence and other alleged electoral malpractices.
Although the results of the poll favoured Senator Adeyemi who polled 80,118 votes as against Senator Melaye’s 59,548 votes, the returning officer had said that he was constrained by law to declare a winner.
He explained that the margin of 20,570 votes between the two candidates was lower than the number of cancelled votes in 53 polling units of the 20 registration.
Following the victory of the APC candidate in the rerun poll and upon receiving the certificate of return, Senator Adeyemi will replace Senator Melaye as the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly.
INEC’s decision to conduct a fresh election in the senatorial district was in line with the order of the Court of Appeal in Abuja, which dismissed an appeal filed by Senator Melaye challenging the nullification of his victory on February 23. during the general elections.