Kogi governorship poll: Court strikes out APP’s petition challenging Ododo’s election victory

The Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Abuja, on Tuesday, struck out the petition filed by the Action Peoples Party against the election victory of Governor Ahmed Ododo of the All Progressives Congress in the November 11 governorship poll in the state.

The three-member panel chaired by Justice Ado Birnin–Kudu struck out the petition following its withdrawal by counsel for APP, Daniel Edeachi.

The application, seeking the withdrawal of the petition was not opposed by lawyer to Gov. Ododo, Ibrahim Muhammed, SAN; counsel for APC, DC Denwigwe, SAN, and that of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Kanu Agabi, SAN.

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The tribunal, in a ruling upon review of the affidavit of no objection filed by lawyers to the respondents, consequently, struck out the APP petition.

Hearing in the remaining three petitions continues.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that APP had, in the petition number: EPR/KG/GOV/02/2023 filed on December 1, 2023, before the tribunal, challenged the declaration of Ododo as the validly elected governor of Kogi in the November 11, 2023 governorship poll conducted by INEC.

The party had sued Ododo, APC and INEC as 1st to 3rd respondents respectively.

However, in its motion on notice dated and filed on February 15, the party sought two orders, including an order granting leave to the petitioner/applicant to withdraw the Petition No: EPT/KG/GOV/01/2023 and an order striking out or dismissing the petition, having been withdrawn by the petitioner.

Giving eight-ground of argument, APP said though it filed the petition to challenge Ododo’s victory, the party said upon the re-evaluation of the grounds and facts of the petition, it “is not reasonably convinced about the sustainability of the grounds of the petition as presently constituted before this honourable tribunal.

According to the party, the withdrawal of the petition is based on the perceived unsustainability of the grounds of the petition and to avoid overburdening this honourable tribunal with numerous petitions.

It averred: “The petitioner or its officers have not connived nor colluded with any party or person for the withdrawal of this petition but based on the overriding interest of justice.

“The petitioner or its officers have not made or entered into any undertaking or agreement with any party or person for the withdrawal of this petition.

“It will be in the interest of justice to grant leave to the petitioner to withdraw this petition and to strike out in view of the withdrawal.”

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