Kogi Governorship: Supreme Court Stays Execution Over SDP, Ajaka’s Inspection Of BVAS

The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of the orders of the Court of Appeal, Abuja which has set aside the inspection order of BVAS, that was granted to the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Muritala Ajaka, by the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja.

The Apex court stayed the execution of the orders of the Court of Appeal made on March 1, 2024 regarding the inspection.

The interim stay of execution followed the application for an interim stay made by the legal team of the SDP Candidate, Muritala Ajaka.

Moving the application, Counsel to Ajaka, Jibrin Okutepa urged the apex court to grant the application to avoid irreparable damages the orders of the Court of Appeal would cause the Petitioners.

The Supreme Court agreed and ordered for stay in terms of the reliefs sought in the motion filed on March 5, 2024. The motion on notice has been adjourned to March 11, 2024, for a hearing.

The Tribunal had on November 25, 2023, granted an ex parte order, allowing the SDP and Ajaka, to carry out a forensic examination of all the Bimodal Voters Accreditation system (BVAS) used in the election, among other reliefs.

But in a ruling on Friday, March 1, 2024, a three-man panel of justices of the Court of Appeal, led by Justice Joseph Oyewole, set aside the inspection order.

The panel noted that the scope of the inspection order must stay within the limit allowed under the Electoral Act.

The Court of Appeal noted that though inspection is allowed under the Act, it must be jointly carried out with the respondent.

The Appellate Court had held that the ex parte order made by the Tribunal on November 25, 2023 at the instance of the 1st and 2nd Respondents “are within the jurisdictional competence of the said Tribunal”