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BREAKING: Appeal Court upholds Ododo’s election as Kogi governor

The Court of Appeal, Abuja, has upheld the election of Usman Ododo as the governor of Kogi state.

In a ruling on Thursday, the appellate court backed the verdict of the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja which had affirmed Ododo’s victory.

The tribunal had dismissed the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its governorship candidate, Murtala Ajaka.

Recall that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared the candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), Usman Ododo, as the winner of the keenly contested November 11, 2023 Kogi State governorship election.

According to the announced results, Ododo polled 446,237 votes, to beat his closest rival, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who scored 259,052, while Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 46,362 votes.

However, the petitioners approached the tribunal seeking an overturn of the election results and an order directing INEC to conduct a fresh election in about five LGAs.

At the court on Thursday, a three-man panel of the appeal court agreed with the tribunal that Ajaka’s witnesses were incompetent because their statements did not accompany the petition in line with electoral laws.

The appeal court also held that the issue of alleged certificate forgery ought to have commenced at a Federal High Court.

The appeal Court held that the appellant could not prove its case “beyond reasonable doubt”, thereby upholding Ododo’s election.