Friday, March 24, 2023

Melaye, PDP close case at election tribunal

Petitioners in the dispute over the last election held in Kogi West Senatorial District of Kogi State – Dino Melaye and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – closed their case on Thursday.

Melaye, the candidate of the PDP, is together with the party, challenging the outcome of the election held on November 16, 2019 and won by Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The petitioners announced the closure of their case at the conclusion of the testimony of one of their witnesses, Pastor Femi Obalemo.

Obalemo, who claimed to be an accountant, told the election tribunal sitting in Abuja that he visited 50 polling units during the election.

The witness was, however, silent when reminded that the electoral laws do not permit candidates and their agents to move around from one polling unit to the other during an election.

Obalemo said he was part of those who, as earlier ordered by the tribunal, inspected the materials used for the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

When asked to identify his signature among those on the documents he claimed to have inspected, Obalemo said he was not one of those who signed because he travelled out of the country.

On whether he was aware that election could be declared inconclusive where there is no result, Obalemo said: ‘’I don’t have enough information to agree or disagree.’’

At the conclusion of Obalemo’s testimony, the petitioners announced that they were closing their case.

Tribunal’s Chairman Justice Isa Sambo then adjourned till April 28 for continuation of hearing.

INEC, listed as the first respondent, is expected to open its case on the next adjourned date.

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