June 17, 2024

The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, affirmed Usman Ododo as the valid winner of the gubernatorial contest that held in the state on November 11, 2023.

The Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu led three-member panel dismissed the petition that was brought before it by the candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Murtala Ajaka.

The tribunal held that Ajaka failed to prove his allegation that governor Ododo, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, did not secure the highest number of valid votes cast at the election.

It equally dismissed Ajaka’s allegation that the election was not only fraught with irregularities, but also conducted with substantial non-compliance with provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

The tribunal held that it found no reason to dislodge the result the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared in favour of Ododo and the APC.

It will be recalled that INEC had announced that Ododo polled a total of 446,237 votes to defeat Ajaka who came second with 259,052 votes.

Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, came a distant third with 46,362 votes.

Though Melaye declined to challenge the outcome of the election, however, Ajaka approached the tribunal to invalidate the Certificate of Return that was issued to the APC candidate, Ododo.

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