Defeated Senator in Kogi West Senatorial Area of Kogi state in the March 28 National Assembly election in the country, Smart Adeyemi has dragged the winner of the election, Dino Melaye before the National Assembly Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lokoja, the state capital, alleging irregularities in the conduct of the election as well as the result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, on March 28, 2015.
In the petition filed by his counsel, Mr. J.O. Olatoke (SAN), Adeyemi said that Melaye was not duly elected or returned by the majority of the lawful votes cast during the election adding that he (Adeyemi) should be declared the winner.
The petitioner said he scored the majority of lawful votes cast during the election and ought to have been declared the winner.
According to the petitioner, the declaration of Melaye as winner was wrongful and invalid.
“Melaye was declared the winner of the election because of wrong and/or incorrect computation of lawful votes cast and intentional omission of collating results of the polling units won by the petitioners and counting of spoilt ballots in his favour.”
He also sought an order withdrawing or nullifying the Certificate of Return, CoR, already issued to Melaye as the winner of the election and then directing INEC, which is the third respondent in the petition to issue a fresh CoR to him, as according to him, he scored the highest number of lawful votes cast at the election contrary to the result declared by the INEC.
He further stated that Melaye, who is the first respondent was also not qualified as at the time of the election to contest for the Kogi West Senatorial District by reason of substantial non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), and therefore sought for his disqualification as the candidate for the election .
Adeyemi, on the alternative, however, asked the tribunal to order INEC to conduct a fresh election into the Kogi West Senatorial District on the basis of alleged irregularities.
No date has however been fixed for the hearing of the petition.
INEC has declared Adeyemi, who contested on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, second with 38,148 votes as against Melaye of the All Progressives Congress, APC, who scored 41,120. [myad]