Kogi West Senatorial Rerun: INEC Declares Election Inconclusive

 

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the Kogi West senatorial rerun election inconclusive.

According to the returning officer, Professor Olayinde Lawal, the margin between the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Mr. Smart Adeyemi and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, Senator Dino Melaye is 20,570.

He announced that Mr Adeyemi polled a total of 80,118 votes, while Senator Melaye got 59,548 votes from the seven Local Government Areas in the senatorial district.

READ ALSO: Kogi West Rerun: Melaye Rejects Results, Describes Poll As Helicopter Election

Prof Lawal explained that the total margin between both candidates is lower than the 43,127 registered voters in 53 polling units of 20 registration areas in the zone where elections were canceled.

The returning officer, who declared the election inconclusive said, he is constrained by law to declare a winner because of the lead margin between the leading candidates.

He added that INEC will announce a new date for the conduct of a supplementary election in the 53 polling units before a winner can be returned.

Below is a breakdown of how both parties performed in the seven LGA’s

Kabba/Bunu LGA
APC-15,037
PDP-8,974

Ijumu LGA
APC-11,627
PDP-7,647

Kogi/Koton Karfe LGA
APC-14,168
PDP-9,786

Mapo/Muro LGA
APC-4,874
PDP-3,704

Yagba East LGA
APC-6,683
PDP-7,745

Yagba West LGA
APC-7,941
PDP-8,980

Lokoja LGA
APC-19,788
PDP-12,712

Kogi West Rerun: Melaye Rejects Results, Describes Poll As Helicopter Election

 

Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Kogi West Senatorial District rerun election, Dino Melaye, has condemned the results, calling it ‘fictitious’.

Mr. Melaye who spoke to journalists in Abuja, alleged that the November 16 election was marred by compromise, extreme violence, and rigging.

“The innovation is that what we had is what I have christened ‘Helicopter election’. For the first time, rigging has been advanced to the level that now the use of a helicopter in perpetuating this electoral atrocity manifested yesterday.

“Helicopter hovering around Polling units in Lokoja, dropping bullets on innocent, harmless citizens and electorate; and as I speak, yesterday, teargas being fired from this helicopter.”

READ ALSO: YIAGA Africa Calls On INEC To Conduct Fresh Governorship, Senatorial Elections In Kogi

He added that the violence witnessed in his community should give the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) reasons to stop the collation of results on Sunday.

“Despite the fact that this helicopter was used in harassing, intimidating and firing innocent electorates, the votes of those places were carted away and taken to the government house, stuffed and brought back to the collation centre and they have been accepted and admitted and collation is ongoing.

“They brought mayhem on my own community and even killed my nephew, we are waiting to see what INEC will do, but I reject in totality, this fictitious result and I want to say that all these are not about the election, it is about Dino Melaye,” he stated.

On October 11, the Appeal Court ordered a rerun election in Kogi West Senatorial District between Senator Dino Melaye of the PDP and Senator Smart Adeyemi of the APC.

Dino Melaye Votes In Kogi West Senatorial Race

 

Dino Melaye has cast his vote in the rerun elections for the Kogi West Senatorial District.

The former lawmaker, who was sacked by the Elections Petitions Tribunal in Kogi in August, cast his ballot at 9:14 am in Open space, Iluafor polling unit 004, Ayetoro 1.

READ ALSO: Kogi Elections: Governor Yahaya Bello, Wife Vote

Senator Melaye, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party for the senatorial election, was declared a winner in the February 2019 National Assembly election but Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC) approached the tribunal and challenged Dino’s victory, citing irregularities, over voting and non-compliance with the electoral acts.

The tribunal in a unanimous judgment ordered a fresh election in the senatorial district.

‘No Tension, No Pains’, Melaye Reacts To Defeat (Full Statement)

Police To Rearraign Dino Melaye Tuesday, On Fresh Charges
A file photo of Senator Dino Melaye.

 

 

Senator Dino Melaye has reacted to his loss at the Court of Appeal in his bid to overturn the judgement which sacked him as the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district.

Shortly after the appeal court upheld the ruling of the Kogi State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified his election, Melaye said, “Court judgement is human judgment, I believe in the divine I mean God’s judgment.”

He added, “It is absolutely well. No worries, no tension, no pains. I celebrate God for he is always a good God. At the end, His name will be glorified.”

READ ALSO: Melaye Loses Appeal As Court Orders Fresh Election

Earlier on Friday in Abuja, a three-man panel of justices of the appeal court led by Justice Datti Yahaya dismissed Senator Melaye’s application challenging the judgment of the Tribunal.

In a unanimous judgment, the court held that Melaye could not prove the allegations that he was not given a fair hearing by the Tribunal.

It, therefore, upheld the majority judgment of the Tribunal that the petitioner, Senator Smart Adeyemi, proved the allegations of malpractices, mutilation of result sheet, and over-voting.

The court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the district within 90 days from the date of its judgement.

Senator Melaye contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while Senator Adeyemi was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The lawmaker announced his defeat at the appeal court in the tweet below:

 

Read the statement also issued by Senator Melaye below:

Let your hearts not be troubled, believe in God believe also His prophets.

A court judgement is human judgment, I believe in divine I mean God’s judgment.

It is absolutely well. No worries, no tension, no pains. I celebrate God for he is always a good God.

At the end, His name will be glorified. He is not a man that He will lie. I’m a winner every time.

There is a final verdict and it is the verdict of God. Peace peace peace.

Today, I speak over my life and my household that the peace of God that surpasses understanding will garrison across our hearts.

I am not shaken nor moved. I trust in God completely.

I lean not on my own understanding; I acknowledge Him in all my ways, and I am directed of the Lord and led by the Spirit.

I see my way through; I walk a path devoid of pitfalls. I look to the Lord my God, and I will not see shame.

I am delivered from destruction and dereliction. I am saved to serve and strengthened for life.

God is merciful to me, and I have received the grace of the Lord my God. I have favour.

Nothing is against me. Men are favourably disposed to me in every situation. I am accepted and not rejected.

Nothing blocks my path to success; I am not a failure, and greatness is attracted to me. I activate the will of the Father and insist that today is the day of His power.

I am willing; God is at work, in me, to will and to do all His good pleasure. I win always. My prayers are answered, and my requests are granted. “My eye is single, and my body is full of light”.

Sorrows and tears are far from me. I have peace; my struggles cease; my frustrations, fears, and frailties give way; and I am strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.

My tomorrow is greater and better than my yesterday. I shine like the star that I am.

I am blessed with every blessing heavenly, in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. I am blessed with the blessing of the sand and stars.

I increase on all sides. In Jesus’s name, I believe and say amen.

Senator Dino Melaye
Kogi West

 

Kogi West: Melaye Loses Appeal As Court Orders Fresh Election

 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has dismissed an application filed by Senator Dino Melaye, the lawmaker representing Kogi West senatorial district in the National Assembly.

Senator Melaye in the suit challenged the judgment of the Kogi State National Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal which nullified his election and ordered a fresh election.

However, a three-man panel of the appeal court led by Justice Datti Yahaya dismissed the application in a unanimous judgment on Friday.

READ ALSO: ‘No Tension, No Pains’, Melaye Reacts To Defeat (Full Statement)

The court held that the lawmaker could not prove the allegations that he was not given a fair hearing by the lower Tribunal.

It, therefore, upheld the majority judgment of the Tribunal that the petitioner, Senator Smart Adeyemi, proved the allegations of malpractices, mutilation of result sheet, and over-voting.

As such, it ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election in the district within 90 days from October 11, 2019.
Senator Melaye contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) while Senator Adeyemi was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The court had reserved judgments in three separate appeals brought before it on the Kogi West Senatorial District election.

The appeals were filed by the PDP, INEC, and Senator Melaye, with the three of them praying the appellate court to set aside the majority decision of the Tribunal which voided the election of the lawmaker.

In his final argument, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Jubrin Okutepa, who represented the PDP, prayed the appellate court to set aside the majority decision of the Tribunal against Melaye on the ground of denial of fair hearing and refusal to evaluate the evidence adduced during the hearing.

Court Reserves Judgment On Ruling Which Nullified Melaye’s Election

A file photo of Senator Dino Melaye

 

 

The Court of Appeal in Abuja has reserved judgments in three separate appeals brought before it on the ruling of the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal which sacked Senator Dino Melaye as the lawmaker representing Kogi West district.

The three separate appeals were filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC), and the lawmaker.

The appellants prayed the court to set aside the majority decision of the Tribunal which voided the election of Senator Melaye.

Justice Datti Yahaya, who presided over the three appeals on Tuesday, announced that the date for judgment delivery would be communicated to parties as soon as it is fixed.

READ ALSO: Keyamo, Alasoadura Swap As Buhari Reshuffles Cabinet

The PDP, represented by Jubrin Okutepa, in his final argument prayed the appellate court to set aside the majority decision of the Tribunal against Senator Melaye on the ground that he was denied fair hearing and refusal to evaluate the evidence adduced during the hearing.

It claimed that the Tribunal failed to evaluate the testimonies of its witnesses and no reference was made to all the documentary evidence it supplied before the Tribunal before it came to a wrong conclusion of over-voting, even when the petitioner did not tender a voter register.

 

Justice Upside Down?

The party further alleged that the Tribunal turned the head of natural justice upside down when it based over-voting used in cancelling the senatorial election on the number of collected Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) rather than voter register as required by law.

It, therefore, urged the three-man panel of justices to invoke Section 16 of the Court of Appeal Act and dismiss the petition for lacking in merit.

In the second appeal filed by INEC, through its lawyer, Kola Olowookere, the Appeal Court was urged to dismiss the allegation of mutilation of election result and favouring a particular candidate as alleged by the petitioners, Senator Smart Adeyemi and the All Progressives Congress (APC).

The electoral body argued that the finding of over-voting by the Tribunal was wrong and baseless because the voter register and result of the election in 2015 tallied with the result in the disputed area.

It alleged that the Tribunal did not evaluate the exhibits it tendered to prove that there was no over voting and pleaded that appeal be allowed.

The third appeal filed by Dino Melaye and argued by Dr Onyechi Ikpeazu (SAN), urged the Appeal Court to set aside the over-voting decision of the Tribunal because it was based on hearsay instead of results by polling units’ agents.

Ikpeazu drew the attention of the justices to the fact that only three witnesses were called, adding that the evidence of the three witnesses, based on hearsay, cannot justify the cancellation of the senatorial election.

He also submitted that mutilation of result sheet was untenable because the final result of the senatorial election was endorsed by agents of the candidates and the parties and that the petitioners failed to establish that the alleged mutilated result substantially affected the final result collation.

Senator Adeyemi and the APC opposed the arguments of the appellants and pleaded with the appellate court to dismiss the three appeals.

They made the plea on the ground that the appellants were not denied fair hearing and that the Tribunal based its findings on over-voting on the report of INEC which comprehensively contained the number of collected voter cards, unit by unit.

‘I Defeated Him, Smart Adeyemi Is My Political Wife’ – The Week In Quotes

 

This what was said and who said what in the public sphere within the course of the passing week.

 

  1. Be prepared for mother of all strikes
Members of the national leadership of NASU and SSANU at a press conference in Abuja on August 22, 2019. Inset: SSANU’s National Vice President (North), Mr Solomon Alfa.

University workers in the country under the umbrella of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) warn the Federal Government to brace up for an indefinite nationwide strike.

2. I want to assure you that Smart Adeyemi is my political wife; I defeated him in 2015, I defeated him in 2019 and any day any time, he is my political wife.

Kogi West: Smart Adeyemi Is 'My Political Wife' – Melaye

Senator Dino Melaye says he is not disturbed about being sacked as lawmaker representing Kogi West Senatorial District, insists he has defeated his chief opponent, Senator Smart Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

3. Slavery still thrives today, we must eliminate it.

President Muhammadu Buhari calls on Nigerians and Africans to eliminate all forms of slavery and its existence for the modern age.

4. The Embassy has requested a thorough investigation of this attack with a view to identifying the perpetrators and bringing them swiftly to justice in accordance with German law.

Court Refuses To Order Ekweremadu's Arrest

The Nigerian Embassy in Germany says those who attacked former Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu will be prosecuted under German law.

5. The solution to our problem lies with us.

President Muhammadu Buhari challenges ministers-designate to live up to the tasks ahead of them.

6. If you want to advise somebody and you are truly sincere about it and you are not out for cheap publicity, you do it in whispers.

Academic, social commentator and politician, Dr Junaid Mohammed faults the controversial letters published by former President Olusegun Obasanjo regarding the state of the nation.

7. Let me reiterate here that this administration places much premium on education at all levels, as it is the bedrock of society’s progress, and the way to overcome poverty.

President Buhari believes quality education is very important to the development of every nation, says it is the way people can be lifted out of poverty.

8. It’s not the time for cynicism in the country. It’s not the time for scepticism. If you want to be cynical or sceptical, you have a right for it but it wouldn’t do you good nor will it do the country well.

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, says Nigeria needs to be re-positioned rather than being unnecessarily criticised.

9. We must remain accountable to the people we serve.

FG Is More Than Mindful About Wave Of Killings – SGF

The Secretary-General of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha urges Ministers-Designate in President Muhammadu Buhari second term cabinet to remain accountable to the Nigerian citizens.

10. Let me talk as a Nigerian. Those who were there before, to me personally, I didn’t see any impact in their performance.

Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bode George, says he didn’t feel the impact of the returning ministers in Buhari’s first term.

Kogi West: We Are Not Afraid To Go For A Rerun – Smart Adeyemi

 

The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Kogi West Senatorial District election, Senator Smart Adeyemi, says his party is not afraid of a rerun.

He said this while commending the judgement of the Kogi State National Assembly and State Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal which sacked the lawmaker representing Kogi West, Senator Dino Melaye.

On Friday, a three-man panel of the Tribunal led by Justice Anthony Chijioke had in a unanimous judgment ordered a fresh election in the senatorial district.

In his reaction, Senator Adeyemi noted that as a student of law, he has always believed that the court is where those who have been cheated get justice.

He insisted that he would reclaim his mandate in the rerun ordered by the Tribunal, stressing that he has built the image to win the election over the years.

READ ALSO: Smart Adeyemi Is ‘My Political Wife’ – Melaye

The two-time senator compared himself with Senator Melaye who contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

He said, “We are not afraid to go for a re-run at all because the people can assess the two personalities. They know our antecedents, they know our track records, they know who we are and what we stand for.

Kogi West: Smart Adeyemi Is 'My Political Wife' – Melaye
Dino Melaye                                                                                                                             Smart Adeyemi

 

A Track Record

“They know our personalities; not only in Kogi West but Nigerians know the two of us. They know I have a track record of getting to where I am, so it is not a question of being on the street and becoming a politician.”

“No! I was not on the street. I’m proud to say that I was a practicing journalist and I was at a time, two-term National President of the Nigerian Union of Journalist (NUJ). So I have a track record.

“And I was in the Senate for eight years and the people are there to assess my performance. As to whether I met their needs or their aspirations, I have no doubt that I did my utmost best,” Adeyemi added.

He further decried that the system was faulty to a point that “it is possible for people from nowhere to become leaders in this country.”

The APC candidate questioned the credibility of the official of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that approved the result of the Kogi West senatorial district election.

He alleged that there were several alterations in the result sheet while collation was not done where it was supposed to take place.

Kogi West: Smart Adeyemi Is ‘My Political Wife’ – Melaye

Kogi West: Smart Adeyemi Is 'My Political Wife' – Melaye
Dino Melaye                                                                                                                              Smart Adeyemi

 

 

Embattled lawmaker, Senator Dino Melaye has described Senator Smart Adeyemi as his ‘political wife’.

The lawmaker said this in an interview with Channels Television on Friday in Abuja after the Kogi State National Assembly and State Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal sacked him as the senator representing Kogi West district.

A three-man panel of the Tribunal led by Justice Anthony Chijioke had in a unanimous judgment ordered a fresh election in the senatorial district.

READ ALSO: Tribunal Sacks Dino Melaye As Senator, Orders Fresh Election

Melaye, who contested the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said he was not disturbed by the judgement, saying he had always defeated Adeyemi of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

“I want to assure you that Smart Adeyemi is my political wife; I defeated him in 2015, I defeated him in 2019 and any day any time, he is my political wife,” the embattled lawmaker insisted.

He noted that there were two rulings from the Tribunal, stressing that the minority judgement was delivered by the chairman of the panel.

A Secured Mandate

Melaye described the Tribunal chairman’s judgement as “exclusive and wonderful”, but faulted the judgement of the two other members of the Tribunal who ruled against him.

According to him, the lead judgement was a miscarriage of justice which demonstrated the desperation to distract him from his governorship ambition.

The senator said, “I want to say that I cannot be distracted and I will not be distracted. My name is Daniel; I will not fall … I am focused on my governorship ambition and we will get it.

“The only time there will be election for the seat of the Senate in Kogi West is after I am sworn in as the governor of Kogi State.

“That will necessitate vacancy but before then, there will be no by-election as a result of attempted robbery that is going on right now.”

“Spiritually we are already in the court of appeal; physically we will be there on Monday. The only election that will be conducted is the governorship election that I will win. My mandate is secured, my mandate is guaranteed,” he added.

I Will Not Be Part Of A Rubber Stamp National Assembly – Melaye

 

The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district, Dino Melaye, has said he would not be a part of a rubber-stamp National Assembly.

Melaye said this when he made an appearance on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics, while reacting to the ongoing ministerial screening.

“I want to assure you that I will not be part of a rubber stamp National Assembly or Senate,” he said.

According to him, the process has been more of an adoption than a screening and Nigerians are also unhappy.

He, however, noted that he would continue to speak the truth and ensure that the leadership does what is right.


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“I will tell you categorically that Nigerians are not happy especially with the way the proceedings of the screening have been conducted and I can tell you that it is more of an adoption than a screening.

“I can say that without fear or favour.

“But I want to say that we are talking to ourselves in the Senate and as the days go by, it will get better.

“I am not a presiding officer of the National Assembly, I cannot speak for either of them but as long as some of us remain there, our voices will be heard and we will always insist on doing the right thing”.

President Muhammadu Buhari last Tuesday sent the 43-man list of ministerial nominees to the Senate for confirmation.

The development came 55 days after he was inaugurated into office.

So far, 31 nominees have been screened – a process which some have criticised, saying many of the nominees are not being properly grilled.

Melaye, however, explained that the reason why that is happening is because the President did not submit the names of his ministers along with their portfolios.

“I do not have powers to nominate Ministers but the reason why we have this problem is because the President did not yield to the request of some of us from the National Assembly to submit the names of his ministers with their portfolios so we are actually shooting from the dark.

“It would be better if the president was submitting the names of the ministers with their portfolios so that we know their area of competence and we can ask them questions within the jurisdiction where they are going to serve.

“But if a man is going to be minister of Labour and Productivity and you are asking him questions that have to do with health or law reforms, then automatically, that exercise is a beautiful nonsense,” he said.

Ministerial Screening: Melaye Faults Process, Says Buhari Did Not Submit Portfolios

 

The Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial district, Dino Melaye, has faulted the ongoing ministerial screening process.

According to him, it is more of an adoption process than a screening.

Melaye made the comments during an interview on Channels TV’s Sunday Politics.

He also faulted the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari did not submit the portfolios of the ministers along with their names for the screening exercise.

According to him, submitting the names of the ministers with their portfolios would have given the Senate a clear idea of their areas of competence of the nominees, which would in turn help them (the Senate) to ask questions within the jurisdiction where they are expected to serve.

Read Also: I Will Not Be Part Of A Rubber Stamp National Assembly – Melaye

He believes that they are currently “shooting from the dark” as the President did not yield to their request.

“The President did not yield to the request of some of us from the National Assembly to submit the names of his ministers with their portfolios so we are actually shooting from the dark,” he said.

“It would be better if the president was submitting the names of the ministers with their portfolios so that we know their area of competence and we can ask them questions within the jurisdiction where they are going to serve.

“But if a man is going to be minister of Labour and Productivity and you are asking him questions that have to do with health or law reforms, then automatically, that exercise is a beautiful nonsense”.

President Muhammadu Buhari last Tuesday sent the 43-man list of ministerial nominees to the Senate.

The development came 55 days after he was inaugurated into office and so far, over 30 nominees have been screened.

Senate President Objects As Melaye Asks Keyamo To Recite National Anthem

A drama almost played out on Friday in the Senate over the recitation of Nigeria’s national anthem.

While the lawmakers were holding a special session to screen ministerial nominees presented by President Muhammadu Buhari, Senator Dino Melaye (Kogi) stood up to asked a couple of questions.

The lawmaker directed his questions to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Festus Keyamo, who stood on the floor of the Senate as one of the nominees.

READ ALSO: Delta APC Was Formed In My Parlour – Keyamo

Senate President Objects As Melaye Asks Keyamo To Recite National Anthem

Senator Melaye’s inquiries bordered on Mr Keyamo’s qualification to hold the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

He said, “I start by congratulating my ‘paddy’ and friend, Festus Keyamo, and our relationship actually dates some years back, not recent. I just want to start by saluting your intellectual.

“I want to quote Section 174 of the Constitution and then ask my question in that regard, section 150 talks about who is qualified to be Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

After asking about two questions relating to his qualification for the office, Senator Melaye asked Keyamo to recite the nation’s anthem.

“I just want to say that as a versatile minster, I know you to be intellectually mobile, you recite the second stanza of the national anthem,” he said.

However, the President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, interjected and asked the legal practitioner to ignore the recitation of the national anthem.

“That is not a question,” Senator Lawan told Senator Melaye, adding, “You have asked very direct questions.”

It is believed that a number of Nigerians cannot recite the national anthem fluently.

The nation’s anthem is mostly sung to mark the commencement of activities in primary and secondary schools, as well as government events among others.