The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Monday, ended the prejudgment proceeding on the consolidated petition by Natasha Akpoti of Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Ahmed Ogembe of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) against Yakubu Oseni of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
While defending his petition, the Counsel to Natasha Akpoti of SDP, Ayo Asala (SAN), adopted his final written address and the arguments therein.
Asala (SAN) argued that the Counsel to the second and third Respondents (APC & Oseni) went against the judgment of the Appeal Court when they sought the relief of the Tribunal to dismiss Natasha Akpoti’s petition for what they termed incompetency of the witnesses that presented the evidence gathered in the course of inspecting the INEC materials used for the 2019 Kogi Central senatorial election.
Asala (SAN) further argued that the Court of Appeal made far reaching revelations in its judgement which granted the result of the evidence gathered in the inspection of the INEC materials, adding that the judgment of the appellant court which was instituted by the second and third Respondents must be obeyed.
Asala (SAN), added that the Counsels to APC and Yakubu Oseni only succeeded in playingdown the judgment of the Court of Appeal which upheld the Tribunal’s ruling and granted Natasha Akpoti the right to use the evidence.
Asala (SAN) maintained that since the third Respondent (Oseni) instituted the appeal against the earlier ruling of the Tribunal which granted Natasha Akpoti of SDP the right to use the evidence gathered in the course of inspecting INEC materials, the ruling of the appellant court must be abided by and accepted in good faith instead of attacking the ruling and rearguing the same case.
However, Counsels to Yakubu Oseni and APC who serve as the second and third Respondents to the petition No. EPT/KG/SEN/02/2019 by Natasha Akpoti of SDP, EB Daudu and Muhammed Abdulwahab maintained that witnesses which presented the evidence gathered in the course of inspecting INEC materials are not professional and sought the relief of the Tribunal to dismiss the petition by Natasha Akpoti on the ground that it did not fulfill all guidelines on the order given by the Tribunal to inspect INEC materials.
While citing relevant authorities in support of his argument, Daudu also urged the Tribunal to dismiss the petition by Ahmed Ogembe of PDP.
the counsel to Ahmed Ogembe of PDP, Olumide Alaiya, however, argued that the authority cited by the Counsel to Oseni cannot stand on the ground that the cases cited lacks substance, urging the Tribunal to grant his petition.
In his ruling, the chairman of the three man bench, Hon. Justice A.O. Chijioke held that the court will guided by the relevant authorities that relate to the matter, adding that ruling on the consolidated petition is reserved and date for the judgement will be communicated to the parties in involved.