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Tribunal affirms Ododo’s election as Kogi governor

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The Kogi State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has confirmed the election victory of Governor Usman Ododo of the All Progressives Congress.

On Monday, the three-member panel of Justices, led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, ruled that the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, lacked substance and was therefore dismissed.

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The tribunal found that the petitioners failed to prove allegations of over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act of 2022.

Justice Birnin-Kudu stated, “The petition against the victory of the APC candidate was bereft of substance.” The panel unanimously agreed that all witness evidence presented by the petitioners was “incompetent and full of inconsistencies.”

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The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Usman Ododo, the APC candidate, as the winner of the Kogi governorship election held on November 11, 2023. Ododo received 446,237 votes, defeating Murtala Ajaka of the SDP, who garnered 259,052 votes, and Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party, who obtained 46,362 votes.

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Ododo, previously the Auditor General of Kogi State and an ally of the former governor Yahaya Bello, was sworn in as governor on January 27, 2024.

In affirming Ododo’s election, the tribunal concluded that the election was conducted in “substantial compliance with the Electoral Act.”

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