March 1, 2024

Kogi Governorship tribunal adjourns to March 4


The Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja adjourned until March 4 hearing in the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party, (SDP) and its governorship candidate.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that SDPs candidate Muritala Ajaka was challenging the election of Gov. Usman Ododo held on Nov. 11, 2023 on grounds of electoral malpractices and irregularities.
The Chairman of the three- man panel, Justice Yusuf Birnin-Kudu adjourned hearing on the petition after the counsel to the petitioners, Mr Jubril Okutepa, SAN, identified the number of Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines used in some local government areas of the state.
This followed the submission by the petitioners on the last adjourned date that in compliance with the order of the tribunal, the BVAS machines had been brought to aid a witness provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).
This was to help to verify the results stored in the BVAS machines with respect to the election in the five local government areas under dispute.
The respondents in the suit had opposed to the calling of a witness on the last adjourned date, stating that the witness was not included in the list of subpoenaed witnesses of the petitioners.
At the resumed hearing , a total of 281 BVAS machines were identified as those that were used in Okene Local Government Area.
Justice Birnin-Kudu also ordered the registrar of the tribunal to avail parties the Certified True Copies of the communication between INEC and the court regarding all the counted BVAS machines.
The petitioners are challenging the victory of Ododo who won the election with 446,237 votes, while his closest rival, Ajaka, got 259,052 votes.
The tribunal had ordered INEC to issue certified copies of electoral materials for the Nov. 11 2023 off-cycle election in the state to the SDP.
It also ordered INEC to allow the SDP’s forensic experts to examine some electoral materials.
The materials included the BVAS machines and result sheets for Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Ogori-Magongo, Ajaokuta, Lokoja, Kogi and Bassa Local Government Areas.