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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Kogi Guber: Supreme Court affirms Ajaka’s request to inspect BVAS

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The Supreme Court has upheld the request by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) governorship candidate in Kogi State, Murtala Ajaka to inspect materials used for the November 11, 2023 governorship election.

The lead judgment, which was read on Thursday by Justice Emmanuel Agim voided the earlier ruling of the Court of Appeal stopping the inspection.

He held that the order made on November 25, 2023, by the Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal permitting the forensic examination of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) from some local government areas was within its powers.

The apex court observed that the panel chaired by Justice Yusuf Birnin-Kudu had made the order under Section 146 of the Electoral Act 2022 and that the order for service of the papers on Governor Usman Ododo and the All Progressives Congress (APC) was done although he stayed away from participating in the inspection.

The apex court dismissed the cross-appeal filed by Ododo’s counsel, Kanu Agabi (SAN) because the governor’s decision to stay away was a self-inflicted injury.

Ajaka and the SDP, through their lawyers led by Jibrin Okutepa (SAN), are challenging the outcome of the election on the grounds of widespread irregularities, overvoting and non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

Ododo was announced the winner of the election with 446,237 votes as against Ajaka’s 259,052 votes while Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got 46,362 votes.

Daily Trust

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