Tribunal to Deliver Verdict on Kogi Governorship Election Petition May 27

SDP's Murtala Ajaka Challenges APC's Usman Ododo's Victory in November Election


The Kogi Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja has set May 27 as the date to deliver its judgment on the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, challenging the victory of Usman Ododo of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state’s governorship election.

The three-member panel of justices, led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, announced the judgment date through its secretary, David Mike, who communicated the message to the counsels involved.

In the off-cycle election held on November 11, 2023, Ododo of the APC emerged victorious, defeating Ajaka of the SDP by a significant margin. Dissatisfied with the results, Ajaka and the SDP filed a petition in December 2023, contesting Ododo’s win.

The tribunal heard the final arguments from both sides on May 13. INEC, Ododo, and the APC, represented by lawyers Chief Kanu Agabi, SAN, Joseph Daudu, SAN, and Emmanuel Ukala, SAN, respectively, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for being incompetent and lacking merit.

Ajaka’s legal team, led by Pius Akubo, SAN, and Jibrin S. Okutepa, SAN, countered these arguments, urging the tribunal to uphold their petition. They contended that their petition was filed within the legal timeframe and that their claims should be considered valid.

The respondents’ counsels argued that the petition was frivolous, insufficient in evidence, and inconsistent with the legal precedents set by higher courts. They requested the tribunal to dismiss it entirely.

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As the tribunal prepares to deliver its verdict, the anticipation remains high, with both sides awaiting the outcome that could significantly impact the political landscape in Kogi State.

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