Dino Melaye – I would have the last laugh

The senator who was sacked by an election tribunal has assured his supporters that he would be victorious at a higher court.

Dino Melaye (PDP, Kogi West) was sacked by the election tribunal in Kogi.

While reacting to the decision on his Twitter handle, Mr Melaye said he would get judgment at the appeal court.

“No cause for alarm at all. Even if it went my way they will still go to the Appeal Court. Our mandate cannot be taken. We will get judgment at the Appeal Court,” he wrote.

The controversial lawmaker also restated his desire to contest the Kogi State governorship election in November.

“There will be fresh election in Kogi West because I will be Governor. For my Senate mandate no shaking,’’ he wrote.

The Kogi State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja on Friday nullified the election of Mr Melaye.

Delivering Judgment, the three-member panel led by Justice A. O. Chijioke unanimously held that the election was shrouded in controversy and marred by widespread malpractices.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr Melaye scored 85,395 votes to defeat APC opponent, Smart Adeyemi, who polled 66,902 votes.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, the APC candidate filed the petition challenging Mr Melaye’s declaration by INEC as the winner of the election.

Mr Adeyemi hinged the petition on three grounds of irregularities, overvoting and non- compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).

The panel said only a fresh election would settle the disputes that emanated from the conduct of the election.

The panel, therefore, ordered INEC to conduct a fresh election for the senatorial district within 90 days.

Mr Melaye is, however, expected to continue in office until the appeal or supreme court determines the case.

Mr Melaye was first elected to the House of Representatives in 2007 to represent Kabba/Ijumu Federal Constituency.

The outspoken lawmaker served two terms and later contested and won election as a senator representing Kogi West in 2015.

He contested the February 2019 senatorial election and was declared the winner by INEC.

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