UPDATED: Appeal Court sacks Senator Melaye, orders re-election

UPDATED: Appeal Court sacks Senator Melaye, orders re-election

Appeal Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday sacked Senator Dino Melaye as Senator for Kogi West. A three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Yahaya Dantijo in a unanimous decision affirmed the judgment of the tribunal which had nullified Melaye’s victory and ordered a re-election. Tribunal Chairman, Justice Dantijo ordered the Independent National

Appeal Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday sacked Senator Dino Melaye as Senator for Kogi West.

FILE: SENATOR DINO MELAYE DURING SENATE PLENARY

A three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Yahaya Dantijo in a unanimous decision affirmed the judgment of the tribunal which had nullified Melaye’s victory and ordered a re-election.

Tribunal Chairman, Justice Dantijo ordered 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.

In compliance to the court verdict, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, said the re-election ordered by the appeal court for Kogi West may take place on November 16, 2019 same day with the governorship election.

INEC National Commissioner in charge of Kogi, Niger and Kwara, Muhammed Haruna dropped the hint on Friday in Lokoja at a workshop organised for journalists by the International Foundation for Electoral System.

Mr Haruna said the electoral umpire would take into consideration the 90 days stipulated by the law, and that the commission’s position would be made known quickly.

According to him, “Since the 90 days for re-election falls within the November 16 earlier slated for governorship election in the state, the electoral commission may fix the Kogi west re-election same day”.

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Responding to the Appeal court judgement, Senator Melaye said: “I just lost my election at the Appeal Court and fresh election ordered”. 

He said this on his Twitter handle Friday morning.

According to him, “in all things, I give God Praise. He who started a good thing will definitely complete it. I ask my supporters to be law-abiding as we shall always overcome. To God be the Glory”.

TheNewspad had reported that Melaye through his counsel, Joash Amputan had on September 5, asked the appellant court to set aside the tribunal’s judgment for miscarriage of justice.

He said the mutilation of result sheet relied upon by the tribunal to quash his election came about in the course of correcting errors.

But Counsel to Senator Smart Adeyemi, Mr. Dapo Otitoju said the mutilation of result sheet was done by INEC in connivance with Melaye’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 alleged that the rigging was carried out in such bad light that the result of the election issued read February 26, 2019 instead of February 23, 2019 when the election was conducted.

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He therefore prayed the appeal court to disregard the Melaye’s appeal and uphold the tribunal’s judgment, saying the appeal was incompetent and lacking in merit.

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