The Kogi State Governorship Elections Tribunal sitting in Abuja declared the petition by SDP Kogi and her flag bearer Natasha Akpoti against APC and Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State as ‘most unsuccessful’ and therefore dismissed it with a cost One Hundred Thousand Naira against the petitioner.
In a unanimous judgement of the 3-member panel led by Justice Kashim Kaigama said the petition failed in its entirety.
The petitioners had filed the case challenging the victory of Governor Bello in the November 16, 2019 governorship election, citing case of exclusion, electoral malpractices, amongst others.
Meanwhile, Chief Edward Onoja’s name was struck out from the petition with the tribunal describing his inclusion as unnecessary.
The Court struck out all the paragraphs of the Petition dealing with falsification of age and held that they are pre-election matters.
On the ground of unlawful exclusion, the tribunal ruled that “it is incompetent and is struck out.”
On the evidence of Abayomi from GTB which stated that Edward Onoja was dismissed from the bank, when under cross examination, he admitted that he did not have any evidence/document on how Edward Onoja left the bank.
In the wisdom of the tribunal, there was no correlation between the issue and the case at hand.
On the allegation that the election was marred by corrupt practices, the tribunal maintained that the onus of proof to establish corrupt practices is on the Petitioners, which it failed to establish.
The tribunal subsequently asked the Petitioners to pay N100,000 costs to each respondents.