From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Kogi State has adjourned pending the completion of inspection of election materials by the Social Democratic Party.
At the resumed hearing, the SDP said the INEC was cooperating with the inspection of materials as granted by the order of the Tribunal, but sought for more time.
Recall that the Tribunal had ordered INEC to issue certified copies of electoral materials on the November 11 off-cycle election in the state to the SDP within 48 hours.
It also ordered INEC to allow SDP’s forensic experts to examine some electoral materials.
The materials include Bimodal Voter Accreditation System and result sheets for Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Ogori-Magongo, Ajaokuta, Lokoja, Kogi and Bassa Local Government Areas.
The tribunal ruled on Saturday in Lokoja that the SDP requested the materials to prove its case in the petition it filed against the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the election.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu gave the order following two ex-parte motions filed on Nov. 19 by the SDP and by its governorship candidate, Alhaji Muritala Yakubu-Ajaka.
Justice Birnin-Kudu at the resumed hearing adjourned pending when the inspection of materials would have been completed.
Lead counsel to the petitioners, Mr John Adele (SAN), had earlier told the court that efforts to obtain certified copies of materials used in the six local government areas from INEC had been fruitful, except for some hitch, leading to delay in meeting with the 48hours.
The SDP and Muritala Yakubu are challenging the victory of APC and its candidate, Alhaji Usman Ododo at the election petition tribunal.
Usman Ododo won the election with 446,237 votes, while his closest rival, Yakubu-Ajaka got 259,052 votes.
Kogi: Appeal Court Vacates Inspection Order Granted to SDP by Tribunal
The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday, set aside the inspection order granted Murtala Ajaka, the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) by the Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja.
Reports says that the tribunal had, on Nov. 25, 2023, granted an ex-parte order, allowing the SDP and its candidate in the Nov.
The three-member panel of justices led by Justice J.O.K. Oyewole, in a unanimous ruling, vacated the inspection order on the grounds that it went outside the provisions of the Electoral Act.
The appellate court held that while inspection is allowed under the Electoral Act, it must be jointly carried out with the respondents and the scope of the inspection should be within the strict limit allowed under the Electoral Act.
“The ex parte order made by the trial tribunal on the 25th November, 2023 at the instance of the 1st and 2nd respondents are within the jurisdictional competence of the said tribunal.
“However, paragraphs ‘g’, ‘k’ and ‘n’ thereof are beyond the scope of Section 146 (1) of the Electoral Act 2022. The said paragraphs ‘g’, ‘k’ and ‘n’ are hereby expunged.
“The inspection purportedly done pursuant to the said orders of the trial tribunal without the presence of the appellant violates paragraph ‘h’ of the said orders and it is hereby set aside,” the panel ruled
Reports says that while the SDP was represented at the Court of Appeal by Pius Akubo, SAN; Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, appeared for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) .
Gov. Usman Ododo of Kogi was represented by J.B. Daudu, SAN, while the All Progressives Congress (APC) was represented by Abdulwahab Muhammed, SAN.
Other members of the Appeal Court panel include Justices A. I. Banjoko and A.B. Mohammed.(NAN)
My Wife Attempted to Stab me, Husband Tells Abuja Court
A businessman, Mr Ojo Owo, on Friday told a Customary Court in Jikwoyi, near Abuja, that his wife, Muyibat, attempted to stab him with a knife.
His claims are contained in a divorce petition he filed against the woman.
“One night, my wife took the kitchen knife and attempted to kill me over a little misunderstanding.
“She boasted that she will destroy, kill or cripple me and reduce me to nothing and that when she finishes with me, my family will not recognise me,” he claimed in the petition.
The petitioner also told the court that the respondent is “so stubborn, disrespectful, mannerless, diabolical and unfriendly” with anyone around him.
According to him, the respondent’s constant fights have caused him to develop high blood pressure which he will be nursing for the rest of his life.
The petitioner further averred that he had to abandon his matrimonial home to save his life due to the intolerable behaviours of the respondent “who constantly threatens my life”.
He urged the court to dissolve his marriage and grant him custody of the children.
The respondent, Muyibat, also a businesswoman, however, denied the allegations.
The Judge, Thelma Baba, advised the couple to explore avenues for amicable settlement for the sake of the children, and adjourned the matter until March 7, for hearing. (NAN)
5 Docked for Allegedly Stealing 200 Bags of Cement Worth N2m
Five men were, on Thursday, arraigned before an Iyaganku Magistrates’ Court, Ibadan, for allegedly stealing 200 bags of Dangote cement, valued at N2 million.
The defendants, Sunday Asagunla, 19; Azeez Yisau, 19; Ayomide Oladejo, 18; Wasiu Kabiru, 25 and Raheem Yakubu, 42, are being charged with conspiracy, stealing and receiving stolen property.
The Prosecutor, Mr Philip Amusan, told the court that the defendants committed the offences at about 11. 30 p.m. on Feb. 21 at Oke-Ado area of Ibadan.
Amusan stated that Asagunla, Azeez, Oladejo and Kabiru stole the 200 bags of cement belonging to the complainant, Tunrayo Adeogun.
He further stated that Raheem received the bags of cement from them, knowing that they were stolen.
The prosecutor said that the offences contravened Sections 516, 390(9) and 427 of the Criminal Laws of Oyo State, 2000.
The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them.
The Magistrate, Olaolu Olanipekun, granted the defendants bail in the sum of N200,000 each, with two sureties each in like sum.
He, thereafter, adjourned the case till March 20 for hearing. (NAN)
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