“INEC Concludes Defence in SDP/Ajaka’s case against Ododo’s electoral victory”


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has wrapped up its defence in response to the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, challenging the victory of Governor Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the November 11 governorship election in Kogi State.

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In a session at the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, INEC’s lawyer, Uchenna Njoku, announced the closure of their case, stating that INEC did not plan to call further witnesses after assessing the petitioners’ case.

“My lords, the 1st respondent, having reviewed the state of pleadings in this petition, the evidence elicited from petitioners’ witnesses under cross examination, and the documents so far tendered in evidence by the 1st respondent, considers it reasonable not to further belabour the tribunal with the calling of witnesses.

“In the circumstances, the 1st respondent (INEC) applies to close its case,” Njoku said.

Justice Ado Birnin-Kudo, leading the three-member panel, officially closed INEC’s case and adjourned proceedings until April 16 for Gov. Ododo (2nd respondent) to begin his defence.

Earlier during the day’s proceedings, Njoku informed the tribunal that INEC had submitted the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) devices used during the election as directed by the court on November 25, 2023. Several documents related to the BVAS were also tendered.

The tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, admitted the documents as exhibits after objections were addressed, and they were marked accordingly.

Governor Ododo’s legal representative, Ibrahim Sanni Mohammed, SAN, confirmed that the 2nd respondent was prepared to commence their defence on the following day, reassuring the tribunal of their readiness.

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