The Election Petitions Tribunal in Abuja on Friday nullified Dino Melaye’s election as the winner of the February 23 Kogi West senatorial poll.
In a unanimous judgment on the petition filed by Smart Adeyemi and his party, the All Progressives Congress, the three-man panel led by Justice A.O. Chijioke ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a fresh election within 90 days.
Adeyemi, who represented Kogi West at the Senate in the past, and the APC claimed in the petition that the election won by Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party was marred by overvoting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
However, while the APC hailed the judgment, the PDP said it was not bothered about it, saying Melaye would remain the representative of Kogi West at the Senate.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in an interview with one of our correspondents in Abuja said they would get victory at the Appeal Court.
He said, “We are not worried about the nullification because we still have the opportunity of going to the Court of Appeal. However, Kogi West where Dino comes from is the home of the PDP in Kogi State. So if elections are held there over and over the PDP will always win. So we do not have any issue.
“We are also confident of victory at the Appeal Court because Adeyemi lost that election roundly. His party is the ruling party in the state, but the people of Kogi West voted against him. He knows that he lost that election including in his ward and local government area. So if the election is held 100 times, the PDP will win.”
The APC chairman in the state, Abdullahi Bello, said Melaye’s sacking was a welcome development.
In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, Bello said the ruling had confirmed that there was hope for the common man in the country.
He commended the judiciary for standing on the part of truth in delivering the judgement.
Melaye described the ruling “as a total miscarriage of justice.”
However, Melaye who is also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, said in a statement he had instructed his legal team to appeal the judgment.