Kogi State Election Tribunal Dismisses Governor-elect’s Application

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The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has rejected an application by Governor-elect Ahmed Ododo, seeking to overturn the order for the inspection and forensic examination of electoral documents/materials initiated by Yakubu Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Ajaka and the SDP had requested the tribunal’s authorization on November 25, 2023, to conduct a forensic examination of the documents and materials used by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the November 11, 2023 governorship election.

In response, Ododo, an All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, declared the winner amid allegations of irregularities, violence, and controversies, filed a counter-application to nullify Ajaka and SDP’s request.

During the ruling on January 13, the Tribunal declared Ododo’s application as “hollow, empty, and devoid of merit,” questioning his motives and expressing skepticism about his resistance to the inspection and forensic examination order.

The Tribunal characterized Ododo’s application as a “total waste of time.”

In response to the Tribunal’s decision, counsel for Ajaka and SDP, Shaibu Enejo Aruwa (SAN), stated, “This is the best explanation of what happened in court today.” Aruwa emphasized that the court dismissed Ododo’s application, highlighting the futility of attempts to obstruct the examination of election materials.

He further detailed the allegations made by the APC camp, including attempts to hinder INEC officials, burn evidence in the INEC office, and disrupt the legal process by raising issues about the timing of SDP’s filing.

The Tribunal’s ruling marks a significant development in the aftermath of the contentious Kogi State governorship election.

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