INEC Closes Defence in SDP, Ajaka’s Petition Against Kogi Governor Ododo

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has concluded its defense in the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, against the election victory of Governor Usman Ododo of Kogi State.

The case is currently being heard by the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.

INEC’s counsel, Uchenna Njoku, informed the three-member panel of justices led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu that the commission had decided not to call any witnesses in light of the evidence presented by the petitioners.

The tribunal subsequently adjourned the case until April 16, allowing Governor Ododo, the second respondent, to open his defense.

The SDP and its governorship candidate are challenging the declaration of Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the November 11, 2023, gubernatorial election.

During the proceedings, Njoku presented three sets of documents, including a letter dated February 22 forwarding the BVAS devices used in the election, a document containing a summary of the BVAS devices, and another document listing the identification numbers of the BVAS devices. These documents were admitted as exhibits by the tribunal.

Governor Ododo’s lawyer, Mohammed, indicated that his client was prepared to commence his defense on Wednesday, April 18.

The tribunal had previously ordered the submission of the BVAS devices used in the election on November 25, 2023.

This case highlights the ongoing legal battles and challenges surrounding Nigeria’s electoral process.

The outcome of this petition will be closely watched as it may have significant implications for the transparency and credibility of the electoral system in the country.

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