The National and State Legislative House Election Tribunal, sitting in Lokoja, Kogi State, on Thursday dismissed the petition of the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Kogi West Senatorial District, Senator Smart Adeyemi, against the election victory of his All Progressives Congress (APC) opponent, Senator Dino Melaye.
The National Independent Electoral Commission had declared Melaye the winner of the March 28, 2015 Senatorial election and Adeyemi had approached the tribunal to challenge the election outcome.
The Chairman of the three-member tribunal panel, Justice Akon Ikpeme, in a ruling on Thursday, on a motion filed by Melaye’s counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), held that the petition was incompetent and abandoned.
According to the chairman, the petitioner ran foul of the Electoral Act in filing their reply to the 1st respondent’s response out of time, saying that they were served on 13th May and could only file their reply on May 18.
Ikpeme also held that for failing to apply for Form TF001 for pre-hearing session within the stipulated seven days, the tribunal was of the view that the petitioner had failed to apply for the issuance of the form.
She stated that pursuant of other issues relating to the petition could only amount to “mere academic exercise.”
She therefore dismissed the petition for incompetence and abandonment on the part of the petitioners.