PDP unmoved as tribunal sacks Dino Melaye

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.