By Boluwaji Obahopo
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Tuesday reserved judgment in the appeal filed by Senator Dino Melaye (PDP) against Senator Smart Adeyemi (APC) victory at the Tribunal.
A three-member panel of the court, led by Justice Yahaya Dantijo after taking arguments from parties in respect of the appeals, said they would be informed when the judgments are ready.
During the court session, the led justice, had frowned at counsels to Senator Dino Melaye for not filling their appeal in line with court of Appeal procedures.
Justice Yahaya said it was worrisome that the counsels, Joash Ampittan, SAN; Shola Awo, SAN; and Barrister Jubril Okutepa, SAN, being senior advocates could still fall short of knowledge of proper filling of cases at the appeal court.
It took spirited begging from the counsels for the judge to reluctantly accept the filling; but not without warning the court clerk not to ever again accept cases that are not properly filled.
Dino led counsel, Joash Amputan however urged the appeal to set aside the tribunals judgment because they were miscarriage of justice.
He said the mutilation of result sheet relied upon by the tribunal to quashed his client election were because of ways of correcting errors.
He also urged the court to disregard the tribunals verdict relying on the detected over voting, said the figures was not in concordance with the numbers of voters in the affected wards and local government areas.
But counsel to Senator Smart Adeyemi, Mr. Dapo Otitoju said the mutilation of result sheet was done by INEC in connivance with Dino’s men to cover up the rigging.
He also said the 48,200 over voting that was detected in the election was uncovered through INEC certified true copy of PVC distributed in the senatorial axis.
He said the rigging was carried out in so much bad light that the result of the election issued read February 26, 2019 instead of February 23, 2019 when the election was conducted.
He therefore prayed the appeal to disregard the petitioners counsel and uphold the tribunals judgment, saying the appeal is incompetent and lacking merit.
He said the collation of result of KOGÌ west senatorial election outside kabba the headquarters of the district was against the federal high court lokoja ruling and against the provision of the 1999 constitution and the 2010 electoral law.
He also urged the court to uphold the decision of the Tribunal in the effect that the Appeal was not filed in line with the position of the law
The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal had on August 23 granted Senator Smart Adeyemi:s request to shack Senator Dino Melaye as winner of the February 23 Kogi West Senatorial election, over mutilation, over voting , manipulation and not in consonant with the electoral law.
But not satisfied, the appellants, Dino Melaye has asked the Court of Appeal to grant reliefs to reverse the tribunals judgment.