Kogi Gov’ship Tribunal: Braimoh Closes Case With Substantial Proof of Non-Compliance With Electoral Act

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By: Musa Olumayowa Yakubu.

Otunba Olayinka Braimoh, the candidate of the Action Alliance in the 2023 gubernatorial election in Kogi state, who is contesting the return of Ahmed Ododo, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has closed his case with convincing and substantial proof of the election non-compliance with the Electoral Act, 2022.

Braimoh filed an instant Petition on the 2nd day of December, 2023 against Ahmed Ododo as the 1st Respondent, All Progressives Congress as 2nd Respondent and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 3rd Respondent.

The ground for challenging the election is that the election is invalid by reason of non-compliance with the provision of the Electoral Act, 2022.

As required by law, the Petition went through the stipulated pre-trial stage which was concluded and the Tribunal issued its Report of the Pre-Trial Conference to the parties and fixed the Petition for hearing.

As the petioner, witnesses were called from various Polling Units within the Kogi Central. He also tendered Certified True Copies of Polling Unit Results (FORMS EC8As) for the Local Governments where over voting occurred.

In the course of trial, he tendered the Voters Registers, BVAS Report, ward election Results, Local Governments Result, and the final result for the whole state before the Tribunal.

Finaly, he also called two subpoenaed witnesses from INEC to tender documents in support of the petition, and thereafter closed the case.

The 1st and 3rd Respondent, Usman Ododo and INEC respectively, did not call any witness but only tendered BVAS report used at the Election. It was only the 2nd Respondent (APC) that called one witness and the said witness was cross examined by the Petitioner’ Counsel and the Counsel to the 1st and 3rd Respondent.

Hearing of the Petition came to an end on the 16th April, 2024 after which the Tribunal called on Counsel to file their respective Final Written Addresses. Each of the Respondents were given 7 days from that 16th April, 2024 to file and serve their respective Final Addresses on the Petitioners while the Petitioners shall file their own Address within 5 days from the date of service of the Respondent’s Address, while the Respondents have 3 days to file their Reply to the Petitioners’ Final Written Address .

The Tribunal adjourned the Petition to the 2nd day of May, 2024 for adoption of Final Written Address after which the Petition shall be reserved for Judgment

Meanwhile, his plea receives a significant boost as both the 2nd Respondent (APC) and another seperate petitioner of the election, SDP, may have implicated each other by providing astonishing and incriminating evidences of overvoting thereby validating Braimoh’s claims.

The petitioner, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), argued and demonstrated that there was overvoting in favor of Usman Ododo of the APC primarily in the five LGAs of the central senatorial district. In a surprising turn of events, the ruling party, APC, who were expected to refute the allegations, instead exposed the SDP of the same electoral malpractice of overvoting in eight out of the nine LGAs of the eastern senatorial district. These compelling pieces of evidence were acknowledged by the presiding judge.

With these developments, the tribunal now possesses undeniable and substantial evidence of overvoting against Usman Ododo and Muri Ajaka of the APC and SDP respectively. It is evident that Otunba Olayinka Braimoh’s plea for the complete nullification of the election results and the conduct of a fresh election is highly favored and is likely to be granted.

The election was marred by intimidation, overvoting, and fraudulent activities, but the citizens of the state are hopeful that the court, considered as the last resort for justice, will uphold nothing but the unadulterated truth this time.


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