• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Kogi: INEC tenders documents against SDP, Ajaka’s petition at tribunal

INEC presents certificates of return to Kogi Governor-Elect, Usman Ododo, Deputy

On Monday, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) presented electoral documents at the tribunal in response to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Murtala Ajaka’s petition, which contested Usman Ododo’s election victory as governor of Kogi State.

Uchenna Njoku, representing INEC and holding the brief for Kanu Agabi, SAN, submitted the documents at the Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.

The Kogi governorship election took place on November 11, 2023, and the SDP, along with its candidate, are disputing Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) victory.

The petition lists INEC, Ododo, and APC as the first, second, and third respondents.

Documents provided by INEC’s lawyer to the panel, led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, include INEC’s election conduct regulations and guidelines, electoral officer manuals, and forms EC8C, EC8B, and EC8E.
Also submitted were lists of accredited agents for SDP, ward agents, and receipts for form payments. Birnin-Kudu accepted these documents as evidence and exhibits.

Following this, Njoku requested an adjournment to prepare for witness presentations at a later date. The judge set the next hearing for April 16.

Birnin-Kudu noted the impending expiration of the SDP’s petition on May 29 and adjusted the schedule, reducing the time for the second and third respondents to present their case from ten days to five, assuring additional days if necessary.

Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, representing the APC, requested the tribunal maintain the original schedule for preparing their defense.

The tribunal indicated that the schedule amendment was made off record.

Joseph Daudu, SAN, and Jibrin Okutepa, SAN, lead the legal teams for Ododo and Ajaka, respectively.

The SDP and Ajaka concluded their case on April 5 after presenting 25 witnesses.