Nigeria: Melaye Approaches Appeal Court, Lists 23 Grounds of Appeal

10 September 2019

Abuja — The Senator representing Kogi West, Dino Melaye, has approached the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, seeking an order of the court to set aside the Friday, August 23, 1999 judgement of the Kogi State National and State Houses of Assembly Election Tribunal, which nullified the Saturday, February 23, 2019 election for Kogi West.

Recall that the candidate of the APC at the said election, Senator Smart Adeyemi, had petitioned the Election Tribunal, challenging the electoral victory of Senator Melaye of the PDP. The Tribunal nullified the election and ordered for a fresh poll within 90 days.

But Melaye disagreed with the majority verdict of the Tribunal and consequently appealed the judgement at the Court of Appeal with 23 grounds of appeal where the Tribunal is said to have erred in law.

According to the Notice of Appeal dated September 5, Senator Melaye being the appellant also sought two other reliefs which include an order of the Court of Appeal allowing his appeal; and an order sustaining his objection to the petition or dismissing the petition and confirming his electoral victory.

The appeal, which was filed on behalf of the lawmaker by his counsel, the law firm of Rickey Tarfa (SAN), has Senator Smart Adeyemi, All Progressivess Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as respondents.

Some of the grounds of appeal include whether the person sued at the Tribunal being Senator Dino Melaye, is the same as the person who contested the poll and declared winner of the election as contained on Form CF001 - Melaye Daniel Dino.

"The provision of the law is that the name as used in Form CF001 is the only valid name that can be used to challenge the election of the Appellant.

"The principle of equity accepted and applied by the majority members of the Tribunal cannot override the provisions of the law in respect of the petition.

"The judgement of the Tribunal was perverse and against the weight of evidence before the it," the Notice of Appeal said among several issues raised.

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