Tribunal Directs INEC to Provide Kogi Gubernatorial Materials in 48 Hours

Tribunal Directs INEC to Provide Kogi Gubernatorial Materials in 48 Hours

The electoral tribunal has directed the prompt provision of crucial materials to the Social Democratic Party (SDP) within 48 hours. Among the specified items are the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) and result sheets for eight Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Kogi State, namely Adavi, Okene, Okehi, Ogori-Magongo, Ajaokuta, Lokoja, Kogi, and Bassa.

The tribunal, led by Chairman Ado Birnin-Kudu, issued this order in response to two ex-parte motions submitted on November 19 by the SDP and its governorship candidate, Murtala Yakubu-Ajaka. The lead counsel, John Adele, informed the court that previous attempts to obtain certified copies of materials from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had been unsuccessful.

Adele emphasized the urgency of the matter, stating that despite multiple approaches to INEC since November 13, the electoral body had not provided any requested materials. He expressed confidence that if the tribunal granted their application, INEC would cooperate to facilitate the case within the stipulated time frame.

Furthermore, the tribunal mandated INEC to permit the SDP’s forensic experts to scrutinize some of the electoral materials. Chairman Birnin-Kudu stressed that this directive aligns with Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the Electoral Act (2022).

The tribunal set a deadline of 48 hours for INEC to produce all the requested documents, emphasizing the need for smooth proceedings. The case was adjourned to November 29, by which date INEC is expected to submit a compliance report and the hearing will resume.

At the center of this legal action is the challenge posed by the SDP and Ajaka against the declared victory of the All Progressives Congress’ candidate, Usman Ododo. INEC had announced Ododo as the winner of the November 11 election, securing 446,237 votes, while Yakubu-Ajaka claimed second place with 259,052 votes.


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