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Tribunal Dismisses Smart Adeyemi’s Petition, Upholds Dino Melaye’s Election

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A tribunal sitting in Kogi state has dismissed the petition submitted that a former member of the Nigerian senate, Senator Smart Adeyemi and upheld the election of Senator Dino Melaye as the winner of the March 28 national assembly election.

The tribunal dismissed the petition on the ground that it lacked merit. Melaye defeated smart adeyemi and seven other candidates including Aro Bamidele, a former member of the peoples democratic party who joined the accord party to contest the elections.
Melaye expressed optimism that he would “beat Adeyemi silly at the tribunal.”

He had said, “This is not a season of boasts, I have defeated him and I will also defeat Smart Adeyemi because he is not on ground; even if election is conducted 100 times, I will floor him. Over 128 lawyers including two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) such as Ricky Terfa, Femi Falana and Festus Keyamo have offered to give me free legal services (pro bono).”

It would be recalled that Senator Dino Melaye polled 41,120 of the total 118, 987 votes cast, while his closest opponent, Adeyemi, polled 38, 148 votes and Aro of Accord had 26,198 votes.

In the petition filed by Mr J.O. Olatoke (SAN), counsel to Adeyemi, he claimed that Melaye was not duly elected or returned by the majority of the lawful votes cast during the election adding that he (Adeyemi) should be declared the winner.

The petitioner said he scored the majority of lawful votes cast during the election and ought to have been declared the winner.

According to the petitioner, the declaration of Melaye as winner was wrongful and invalid.

“Melaye was declared the winner of the election because of wrong and/or incorrect computation of lawful votes cast and intentional omission of collating results of the polling units won by the petitioners and counting of spoilt ballots in his favour”, Adeyemi stated.

He equally sought an order withdrawing or nullifying the Certificate of Return, already issued to Melaye as the winner of the election and then directing INEC, to issue a fresh Certificate of Return to him.

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