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    Kogi Governorship Election Tribunal Upholds Ododo’s Victory

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    By Milcah Tanimu

    The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, situated in Abuja, has affirmed the election win of Governor Usman Ododo from the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 11, 2023 poll.

    Presided over by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, the three-member panel dismissed the petition, ruling it lacked substance. The petition, filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, alleged over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.

    The tribunal found the evidence presented by the petitioners to be inadequate and inconsistent. It also deemed the forgery allegations raised in the petition as pre-election matters, required to be raised within 14 days after documents were submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

    Following Ododo’s victory in the off-cycle election held on November 11, 2023, Ajaka contested the outcome by filing a petition before the tribunal. The legal proceedings, which commenced in December 2023, concluded on May 13, with both parties presenting their final written arguments.

    INEC, Ododo, and the APC had urged the tribunal to dismiss Ajaka and SDP’s petition, asserting its incompetency and lack of merit. Conversely, Ajaka’s legal representative, Pius Akubo, SAN, urged the tribunal to uphold their petition, disputing the respondents’ arguments.

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