Kogi Election Tribunal Throws Out Petition Against Melaye
Senator Smart Adeyemi of the Peoples Democratic Party suffered another defeat yesterday at the National and State Legislative House Election tribunal sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, when his petition against the election and return of Senator Dino Melaye of the APC was thrown out for lacking in competence.
Chairman of the three-member tribunal, Justice Akon Ikpeme, ruling on the petition, EPT/KA/NAE/SEN/04/15 in Lokoja on Thursday, described the petition by Adeyemi, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as “incurably defective.” He said that the petition was incompetent and abandoned.
Ikpeme said the petitioners were not in tandem with the Electoral Act in filing their reply to the 1st respondent’s out of time response saying that they were served on 13th May and could only file their reply on May 18, six days after. Based on that submission, the petition struck out as incompetent.
On whether the petitioners abandoned their petition for failing to apply for issuance of Form TF001 for pre-hearing session, the tribunal chairman said from the date of service, March 13th, the petitioner had seven days to apply.
Ikpeme held that for failing to apply for the form within the stipulated seven days, the tribunal was of the view that the petitioner had failed to apply for the issuance of the form.
“The petitioners ought to have filed the application on 19th rather than May 20th and have therefore, abandoned their petition,” she said.
She indicated that pursuant to other issues relating to the petition could only amount to “mere academic exercise” and therefore dismissed the petition for incompetence and abandonment on the part of the petitioners.
It will be recalled that Tarfa, in the motion supported by a 13-paragraph affidavit, sought five reliefs including an order of the tribunal striking out the petitioners’ reply for being filed out of time.
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