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Kogi West: Tribunal Rejects Dino Melaye’s Key Witness

The Kogi State National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday rejected a key witness called by Dino Melaye, who is challenging the outcome of last election in Kogi West Senatorial District.

Melaye, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election held on November 16, 2019, is querying its outcome.

The election was won by Smart Adeyemi, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

On Tuesday in Abuja, the tribunal, led by Justice Isa Sambo, disqualified the witness called by Melaye and the PDP , Mark Samuel on the grounds that his statement was not presented as required by law.

The tribunal upheld the argument by Adeyemi’s lawyer, Oladapo Otitoju, to the effect that the witness and his statement were not properly presented.

Otitoju had argued that Samuel’s written statement was not pleaded as additional witness statement in the petition.

He also argued that Samuel, who claimed to be a lawyer, failed to attach his seal, as a lawyer, to the statement.

Otitoju noted that the witness’ statement, sought to be adopted by Samuel, was filed on February 26, 2020, 21days after the period allowed under Section 285(5) of the Constitution.

He contended that allowing the statement will amount to the tribunal extending the days permitted by the Constitution for the filing of a post-election petition.

In the ruling on Tuesday, Justice Sambo agreed with Otitoju and proceeded to disqualify Samuel as a witness in the case.

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