INEC closes defence in petition challenging Gov Ododo’s election in Kogi - Ripples Nigeria
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INEC closes defence in petition challenging Gov Ododo’s election in Kogi



The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Tuesday, closed its defence in the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, challenging Governor Usman Ododo’s victory in last year’s election in Kogi State.

The petitioners are challenging the outcome of the November 16, 2023 election over alleged fraud.

INEC’s counsel, Uchenna Njoku, disclosed this to the Kogi State governorship election petition tribunal sitting in Abuja, shortly after he tendered more documents against the SDP’s petition.

Njoku told the three-member panel led by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudo that INEC did not intend to call any witnesses having assessed the case of the petitioners.

He said: “My lords, the 1st respondent, having reviewed the state of pleadings in this petition, the evidence elicited from petitioners’ witnesses under cross-examination, and the documents so far tendered in evidence by the 1st respondent, considers it reasonable not to further belabour the tribunal with the calling of witnesses.

READ ALSO: Ododo, APC to open defence on Kogi election April 15

“In the circumstances, the 1st respondent (INEC) applies to close its case.”

Justice Birnin-Kudo, who declared the commission’s case closed, adjourned the matter till April 16 for Ododo to open his defence.

During Tuesday’s proceedings, Njoku told the tribunal that INEC brought the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) devices used for the election as ordered by the court on November 25, 2023.

He also tendered three sets of documents which included a letter dated February 22 forwarding the BVAS, a document containing the summary of the BVAS devices and other documents containing the BVAS’ identification numbers.

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