Home » BREAKING: Ajaka loses Kogi Gubernatorial Tribunal Case as Court affirms Ododo’s election

BREAKING: Ajaka loses Kogi Gubernatorial Tribunal Case as Court affirms Ododo’s election

by John Ojewale
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The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, seated in Abuja, upheld the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) governorship candidate, Usman Ododo, on Monday, November 11, 2023.

Judge Ado Birnin-Kudu chaired the three-person panel of judges, who determined that the petition challenging Ododo’s election lacked merit and was so rejected.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, were the petitioners. The tribunal determined that they had not provided sufficient evidence to support their claims of excessive voting and noncompliance with the Electoral Act of 2022.

In a unanimous ruling, the panel determined that every piece of witness testimony presented to it was inconsistent and defective.

Furthermore, it accepted the respondents’ arguments that the forgery claims made in the petition were a pre-election issue and should have been brought up 14 days after the documents were turned in to the Independent National Electoral Commission, or INEC.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Kogi had an off-cycle election on November 11, 2023, and Ododo of the APC won, handily defeating his nearest opponent, Ajaka of the SDP.

Ajaka challenged Ododo’s win in a petition submitted to the tribunal because she was unhappy with the election’s results.

After SDP, Ajaka, APC, Ododo, and INEC issued their last written addresses on May 13, the case—which had begun in December 2023—reached its zenith. The tribunal then reserved judgement in the petition.

Recall that INEC, Ododo, and his party, the APC, had asked the tribunal to reject the entirety of Ajaka and SDP’s case on the grounds that it was unjustified and incompetent.

The three had demanded the rejection of the suit while approving their final written addresses through their respective solicitors, Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, Joseph Daudu, SAN, and Emmanuel Ukala, SAN.

To the contrary, Ajaka’s attorney, Pius Akubo, SAN, had pleaded with the tribunal to reject the replies and maintain the petition.

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cc: Daily Post Ng

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