Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has asked the Abuja division of the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgment of the Kogi State National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal, which nullified the Saturday, February 23, 2019 election in Kogi West.
In the said judgment delivered on
August 23, 1999, the tribunal nullified the election and ordered fresh election to be conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) within 90 days.
The judgment was a sequel to a petition filed by the candidate of the APC at the said election, Senator Smart Adeyemi challenging the electoral victory of Senator Melaye of the PDP.
Dissatisfied with the majority decision of the tribunal, Melaye appealed the judgement at the Court of Appeal on 23 grounds.
In his notice of appeal dated September 5, 2019, the appellant contended that the tribunal erred in law in reaching its decision.
He, accordingly, urged the appellate court to allow his appeal and an order sustaining his objection to the petition or dismissing the petition and confirming his electoral victory.
The appeal, which was filed on behalf of the lawmaker by his counsel, the law firm of Rickey Tarfa (SAN), has Senator Smart Adeyemi, All Progressives Congress (APC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as respondents.
Some of the grounds of appeal include whether the person sued at the tribunal being Senator Dino Melaye, is the same as the person who contested the poll and declared winner of the election as contained in Form CF001 – Melaye Daniel Dino.
“The provision of the law is that the name as used in Form CF001 is the only valid name that can be used to challenge the election of the appellant.
“The principle of equity accepted and applied by the majority members of the tribunal cannot override the provisions of the law in respect of the petition.
“The judgement of the tribunal was perverse and against the weight of evidence before it,” the notice of appeal said among several other issues of law raised.