The Chairman of the Senate Committee on Federal Capital Territory, Senator Dino Melaye yesterday said the decision of the National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal “is a deliberate plan to distract me from pursuing my governorship ambition.”
Melaye, representing Kogi West Senatorial District, described the judgment of the tribunal as a travesty of justice, which would collapse at the Court of Appeal.
He expressed disappointment at the decision of the tribunal on Arise News Channel, a sister broadcast arm of THISDAY Newspapers Group, insisting that the judgment “is a deliberate plan to distract him from his governorship ambition.”
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Smart Adeyemi had petitioned the tribunal, claiming that Melaye’s election was marred by over-voting and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
In its judgment, a three-man panel nullified the election of the lawmaker as the winner of the February 23Kogi West senatorial election.
The tribunal led by Justice A.O. Chijioke had equally ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a fresh election within 90 days.
Rejecting the decision of the tribunal yesterday, Melaye said accused the tribunal of granting the petitioners what they did not even ask for.
He added that the judgment “is a travesty and miscarriage of justice. Like I said before, there was importation of alien evidence that was not peculiar to the case at all. I believe that these are very viable grounds of appeal.”
He, however, said the chairman of the tribunal gave a dissenting judgment, noting that without gainsaying that the judgment “will collapse in the Court of Appeal.
“As a law student, when a judgment is concocted and do not meet the grounds upon which they were given, it will be a nullity. I believe that these are very viable grounds of appeal.
“The judgment was a deliberate plan to distract me from pursuing my governorship ambition knowing that I am the person to defeat the sitting governor.
“I have the capacity to send Yahaya Bello out of the government house. The only way an election is going to take place in Kogi West is when I am sworn in as governor and a vacancy is declared in that seat. The PDP will take it.”
Melaye noted that he would be able “to seat at plenary when the senate resume from recess because he has not been removed as the senator in Kogi Wes Senatorial District. Already, we have filed a notice of appeal.
“It is already a convention and practice in the senate that until the matter is decided at the final court, I am the senator representing Kogi West. I want to assure you that nothing will happen to my mandate.
“The fear of Kogi governor to leave the government house is definite. I am going to defeat him in a general election. I want to assure you that Kogi people will be liberated from hunger, poverty, perfidy and maladministration.”