Godwin Tsa Abuja
The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja yesterday dismissed the petition filed by the Socialist Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate in the last governorship election in the state, Natasha Akpoti, for lacking in merit.
The petitioners had challenged the victory of Yahaya Bello of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 16, 2019 governorship election in the state.
In the petition, Akpoti argued that election was not held in Kogi State on November 16. The lawmaker, who hired the services of Chief Ola Olanipekun (SAN), wants the election declared null and void. She argued that her name did not reflect in some of the result sheets and that INEC used pen to make the inscriptions.
In the election, Bello polled 406,222 votes to defeat Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 189,704, while Akpoti got 9,482 votes. But in its judgment yesterday, the three-man tribunal led by Justice Kashim Kaigama unanimously held that the petition failed woefully.
Kaigama, who delivered the judgment, held that the petition failed woefully as the testimonies given by the petitioners’ witnesses amounted to hearsay, doubtful, illogical, and of no probative value.
It awarded the cost of N100,000 to be paid by each of the two petitioners to each of the three respondents – the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC,and Bello.
Overall, the total costs to be paid by the petitioners amount to N600,000.
Meantime, the tribunal is yet to fix a date for the judgment of the petition filed by the PDP and its candidate, Musa Wada.