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Supreme Court Dismisses Order Stopping Ajaka From Inspecting Kogi Election Materials

The Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja, allowing the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in the November 2023 Kogi election to inspect election materials.

The Court of Appeal’s order to set aside the inspection order was stayed by the apex court.

The Tribunal initially granted an ex parte order in November last year, permitting the SDP and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, to conduct a forensic examination of the Bimodal Voters Accreditation system (BVAS) used in the election, among other reliefs.

However, on March 1, 2024, the Court of Appeal, through a three-man panel of justices led by Justice J.O.K. Oyewole, overturned the inspection order.

In a turn of events, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling delivered by Justice Emmanuel Akomoye Agim, has affirmed the trial court’s decision while dismissing the Court of Appeal’s decision.

The apex court emphasized that the trial court’s order was in accordance with section 146 of the Electoral Act.

“Our position is that the motion seeking to set aside the Court of Appeal was wrong to have reversed the decision of the trial court that the motion seeking to set aside the decision of the trial Tribunal was incompetent.

“We do not agree with the Court of Appeal. The motion was filed out of time. Secondly, the order of the trial court was within the scope of section 146 of the Electoral Act. In light of the foregoing, this appeal is allowed, and the cross-appeal dismissed with no costs,” the court held, according to Daily Post.

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