By Boluwaji Obahopo

The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday quashed the victory of Senator Dino Melaye as the Senator for Kogi West.

Dino Melaye

A three-member panel of the Appeal Court, led by Justice Yahaya Dantijo in a unanimous decision affirmed the judgment of the tribunal who had nullified Melaye’s victory and order for reelection.

Melaye, through his counsel, Joash Amputan, had on September 5, 2019, asked the appellant court to set aside the tribunals judgment because they were a miscarriage of justice.

He said the mutilation of result sheet relied upon by the tribunal to quashed his client election was because of ways of correcting errors.

Melaye also urged the court to disregard the tribunal’s verdict relying on the detected over voting, said the figures were not in concordance with the numbers of voters in the affected wards and local government areas.

But counsel to Senator Smart Adeyemi, Mr Dapo Otitoju, said the mutilation of result sheet was done by INEC in connivance with Dino’s men to cover up the rigging.

He also said the 48,200 over voting that was detected in the election was uncovered through INEC certified true copy of PVC distributed in the senatorial axis.

He said the rigging was carried out in so much bad light that the result of the election issued read February 26, 2019, instead of February 23, 2019, when the election was conducted.

He, therefore, prayed the appeal to disregard the petitioner’s counsel and uphold the tribunal’s judgment, saying the appeal is incompetent and lacking merit.

Justice Dantijoin’s ruling affirmed the tribunal’s verdict, asked the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to withdraw the certificate of return given to Senator Dino Melaye and conduct a fresh election within the time frame of the law.

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