Kogi election tribunal grants Adeyemi’s motion for accelerated hearing
THE Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lokoja Kogi State has agreed to follow the order of the Appeal Court compelling it to give accelerated hearing to the petition filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi, who was challenging the election of Dino Melaiye as the Senator-elect representing Kogi West Senatorial district.
The Appeal Court had ordered accelerated hearing in the case to avoid motions on technicalities that may harm the time limit allocated to the tribunal.
The Tribunal Chairman, Justice Akon Ikpeme also agreed that the merit of the petition filed by Adeyemi would be expeditiously considered.
She however, took exception to media reports which quoted Dino Melaiye as saying the motions on technicalities were intentionally orchestrated at the tribunal to ensure that the time limit of the tribunal elapsed without going into the merits of the case.
The Appeal court in its ruling that referred the case for re-trial stated, “The appellants’ petition No. EPT/KG/NASS/SEN/O4/2015 between Senator Smart Adeyemi and Hon. Dino Melaye & Two Others is hereby restored and remitted to the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, holden at Lokoja, Kogi State under the chairmanship of Hon. Justice Akon B. Ikpeme to be heard on accelerated basis, so that it is determined on its merits within the remaining time stipulated by section 285 (6) of the Constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
The tribunal in a six-hour sitting refused to set aside a motion by Melaiye’s counsel asking the tribunal to set aside the prayer of Adeyemi on pre election matter and late filing of pre election matter.
The tribunal chairman also consolidated all other motions and turned them over to Saturday when she would give her rulings over the matter.
The two major prayers of Smart Adeyemi, which the tribunal granted to hear was that Dino Melaiye never participated in the APC primary, which was confirmed by INEC in a letter dated 30th April, 2015 with ref no EPT/KG/NAE/SEN/0415 and signed by one Barrister S.Z Gbaje and three other lawyers at the INEC headquarters office, Lokoja.
The other Smart Adeyemi ‘s prayer, which the tribunal granted bordered on the disputed polling units in Lokoja where large scale of malpractices allegedly took place.
The Tribunal had made the order in July before the case was thrown out that the 21 disputed units in Lokoja Council Area where Adeyemi complained of irregularities must be recounted.