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Kogi Election Tribunal: INEC Tenders Documents As SDP’s Quest To Unseat Ododo Continues

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has submitted key electoral documents at the Kogi State Governorship Petition Tribunal in Abuja, as part of the ongoing legal challenge against the election results that declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Usman Ododo, as the winner of the November 11, 2023, governorship poll.

Naija News reports that the documents were tendered on Monday in response to the petition filed by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its candidate, Murtala Ajaka, who are contesting INEC’s declaration.

Ajaka, who lost the election with 259,052 votes against Ododo’s 446,237, has alleged discrepancies in the electoral process.

During the tribunal session, presided over by Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu and his three-member panel, INEC’s lawyer, Uchenna Njoku, presented various items as evidence.

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These included the INEC Regulations and Guidelines for the Conduct of the Election, INEC Manuals for Electoral Officers, and several forms used during the election: INEC Form EC8C, INEC Form EC8B, and INEC Form EC8E.

Additional documents were also submitted, such as the List of Accredited Agents for SDP, the List of Accredited Ward Agents, and Receipts of Payment for Forms.

Justice Birnin-Kudu officially admitted these documents as exhibits, marking a significant step in the tribunal’s proceedings.

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After presenting the documents, Njoku requested an adjournment to prepare for the introduction of INEC’s witnesses, aiming to substantiate further the commission’s defense against the allegations made by the SDP and Ajaka. The judge granted this request, scheduling the next hearing for April 16.

In an earlier session, Justice Birnin-Kudu acknowledged the approaching deadline of May 29 for the expiration of the SDP’s petition. Consequently, he adjusted the tribunal’s schedule, reducing the number of days allotted for the respondents to present their cases and for filing final written addresses from ten to five days.

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