By Idowu Bankole
The gubernatorial election tribunal in Kogi state has, on Friday, sacked Senator Dino Melaye as the senator representing Kogi west district.
In a judgement delivered on Friday, the tribunal led by A.O. Chijiok ordered a fresh election in the district.
Smart Adeyemi, candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the February 26 election, had approached the tribunal and challenged Melaye’s victory on the grounds that there were cases of irregularities including over-voting and non-compliance with the electoral act.
On his social media account, Adeyemi who was the Kogi west senator between 2007 and 2015 confirmed the judgement, “We’ve decided to fight the results of the elections in the tribunal court because constitutional injustices must not be allowed to stand,” said in an April 17 tweet.
Reacting to the judgement, Dino Melaye said that there was no cause for alarm over his sack, adding that his mandate would not be taken from him. The embattled senator said that even if the ruling was in his favour, it would have been appealed. He insisted that there would be a fresh senatorial election in the district and that he would be Kogi’s next governor.
“I, however, commend the courage and moral strength of the chairman of the tribunal for resisting evil and standing on the part of justice?”
“I have confidence in the Appeal Court to right the wrongs as contained in the pronouncements of the judgement.”
Dino Melaye added, “I also want to tell those jubilating that their jubilation will be short-lived while appealing to my teeming supporters to remain calm as their mandate is safe and secure and cannot be taken through any mischievous means.
Recall that both Smart Adeyemi and Senator Dino Melaye have both served in the National Assembly and have equally chaired the committee on FCT.
Smart Adeyemi, a former national president of the Nigerian Union of Journalist, NUJ, defected to the APC from PDP, prior to the 2015 general election.
Senator Dino Melaye, however, was one of the closest allies of the former President Of the senate, Abubakar Bukola Saraki, who also defected to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, alongside Dino Melaye prior to the 2019 general election.
Senator Dino Melaye currently contesting the Kogi state gubernatorial Election, coming up later this year, against a friend turned foe, the incumbent Governor Bello Abubakar.
You will recall that Senator Dino Melaye was a staunch supporter of Governor Bello, things, however, went sour when the former defected to the PDP.