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Kogi Governorship Election Dispute: Tribunal Reserves Judgment

Court reserves judgement in Kogi election petition
File photo of Usman Ododo, Kogi State Governor

Following the culmination of proceedings, the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, presided over by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, has deferred judgment in the petition lodged by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its gubernatorial contender, Murtala Ajaka, against the triumph of Governor Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

During Monday’s session, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the APC, and Governor Ododo, presented arguments urging the tribunal to dismiss Ajaka’s petition, citing its incompetence and lack of merit. This stance was articulated by their legal representatives: Kanu Agabi, Joseph Daudu, and Emmanuel Ukala, respectively, as they endorsed their final written submissions.

Conversely, Ajaka’s counsel, Pius Akubo, pressed the tribunal to nullify Ododo’s assertions and uphold their case.

The tribunal, having heard from all parties, opted to reserve judgment, scheduling a forthcoming date for communication to both factions.

In the November 11, 2023, Kogi State Governorship Election, INEC declared Ododo the victor, accruing 446,237 votes. His closest contender, Ajaka of the SDP, secured 259,052 votes, while Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) garnered 46,362 votes.

Both Ododo and Melaye contested the validity of the election, alleging irregularities. Subsequently, the SDP candidate, Ajaka, pursued legal recourse, challenging the election outcome.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.

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