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Monday, July 15, 2024

JUST IN: Appeal Court affirms Ododo as Kogi guber poll winner

After weeks of argument between parties, the Court of Appeal in Abuja has upheld the Kogi gubernatorial election tribunal verdict that declared Usman Ododo as winner of the 2023 election in the state.

The appellate court delivered the judgement after dismissing thr appeal brought before it by the Social Development Party (SDP) governorship candidate, Murtala Ajaka, who was unsatisfied by the tribunal verdict.

Delivering judgement on Thursday, the Court validated the tribunal stance and dismissed appeal filed by the SDP and Ajaka, through their lead counsel, Pius Akubo.

SDP and Ajaka had approached the court describing the tribunal’s verdict as a miscarriage of justice in deciding the winner of the November 11, 2023 election.

Kogi held its off-cycle election on November 11, 2023, amid allegations of rigging and vote-buying.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) the winner of the election.

In the petition, INEC, Ododo and the APC were listed as the 1st to 3rd respondents respectively.

Meanwhile, SDP and Ajaka asked the appellate court to overturn the earlier judgement that upheld the APC and Ododo and declare them the winners of the election.

The appellants also asked the Court of Appeal to set aside the judgement of the Justice Ado Yusuf Birnin Kudu-led panel delivered on May 27 and restore the testimony of their first witness and other documents tendered to prove alleged over voting in the election.

The appellants also argued that Ododo was not qualified to contest the election into the office of Governor of Kogi State and that all votes ascribed and/or allocated to him and the APC should be voided.

“An order granting the reliefs sought by the appellants in the petition and thereupon declaring him (the 1st Appellant) as the duly elected governor of Kogi State,” they

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