SDP To Challenge Tribunal Judgment Affirming Ododo As Gov

SDP To Challenge Tribunal Judgment Affirming Ododo As Gov

The National Chairman of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Shehu Gabam, has announced plans to appeal the recent Kogi State Governorship Election Tribunal verdict that affirmed Usman Ododo’s victory as the state governor.

Gabam disclosed this during a press briefing on Tuesday in Abuja, criticizing the tribunal’s decision as a “miscarriage of justice.”

He highlighted the judgment’s premature leak as a critical flaw, pointing out that details of the tribunal’s decision were available on Sahara Reporters thirty minutes before the official delivery.

He questioned the integrity of the proceedings, asking, “How did they get the judgment?”

The tribunal had dismissed the SDP’s petition on May 27, ruling that the party and its gubernatorial candidate, Murtala Ajaka, failed to substantiate claims of electoral malpractices, including allegations related to the Biometric Voter Accreditation System (BVAS).

Justice Ado Birnin-Kudu, leading the three-member panel, labelled the SDP’s evidence inconsistent and inadequate to overturn the election results.

Despite the tribunal’s dismissal, Gabam remains defiant, expressing the party’s determination to escalate the matter to the Supreme Court to challenge what he perceives as disenfranchisement by the APC-led administration in Kogi State.

Ajaka issued a statement shortly after the tribunal verdict last Monday, saying his opponent had only won the battle but would not win the war.

His statement partly read, “Despite the outcome at the tribunal, I am proud to say that we had a team of brilliant lawyers who did an outstanding job in proving the case of overvoting during the election. Their dedication, expertise, and unwavering commitment to upholding the principles of democracy have left an indelible mark on our case as we push further.

“Throughout the entire process, our lawyers exhibited the highest level of professionalism and tenacity. They meticulously gathered evidence, scrutinized data, and presented a compelling case to the tribunal, but the tribunal despite agreeing to over-voting struck our case out. These lawyers did not fail us. We are very optimistic that they will be vindicated by the end of the petition. I can assure you that this judgment will not stand the test of time.”

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