Kogi Tribunal Adjourns Hearing of SDP Petition Challenging Ododo’s Election To March 4

The Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja adjourned till March 4 hearing in the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party, (SDP) and its governorship candidate, Murtala Ajaka, challenging Governor Ahmed Ododo’s victory in the November 11, 2023 election in the state.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election after he polled 446,237 votes, while the SDP candidate got 259,052 votes.

Ajaka and his party are however challenging the outcome of the election on the grounds of fraud and other unacceptable conduct during the exercise.

The Chairman of the three- man panel, Justice Yusuf Birnin-Kudu adjourned hearing on the petition after the counsel to the petitioners, Mr. Jubril Okutepa (SAN), identified the number of Bimodal Voters Accreditation System (BVAS) machines used in some local government areas of the state.

This followed the submission by the petitioners on the last adjourned date that in compliance with the order of the tribunal, the BVAS machines had been brought to aid a witness provided by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC).

This was to verify the results stored in the BVAS machines with respect to the election in the five local government areas under dispute.

The respondents in the suit had opposed the invitation of a witness on the last adjourned date.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, a total of 281 BVAS machines were identified as those that were used in Okene LGA.

Justice Birnin-Kudu also ordered the registrar of the tribunal to avail parties the Certified True Copies of the communication between INEC and the court on the counted BVAS machines.