The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Adeyemi winner of the Kogi West senatorial district election in November 2019, but Melaye complained it was marred by irregularities.
An election petition tribunal last month dismissed the petition he filed to challenge his perennial rival’s victory.
However, the former senator appealed the judgement before the Appeal Court asking that he be declared the winner of the election.
Senator Smart Adeyemi’s electoral victory has been upheld [TheCable]
Melaye raised seven issues including that there was non-adherence for INEC’s guidelines for the election; and that the evidence of his witnesses before the tribunal that the election was marred by over-voting was ignored.
He also alleged that the tribunal failed to thoroughly evaluate the petition and proof of evidence he entered, and that the tribunal ignored evidence that proved over 20,000 votes cast for him were unlawfully cancelled.
While ruling on his appeal on Tuesday, July 28, 2020, the three-member panel unanimously dismissed Melaye’s appeal as lacking merit.
All seven issues raised by Melaye and the PDP were resolved against them.
The court also awarded the cost of N50,000 against the appellants, and in favour of the respondents – Adeyemi, APC, and INEC.
“The instant appeal grossly fails and it is hereby dismissed,” said Justice Ibrahim Saulawa who delivered the judgement.
In his reaction to the loss, Melaye said the decision of the court does not erase the “rigging, bloodletting, killings and violence that dominated the election”.
Melaye had initially won a February 2019 election that was later cancelled by the tribunal after Adeyemi challenged his victory on grounds of irregularities, over voting, and non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended).
The decision was upheld by the Appeal Court and a fresh election was ordered, an election Melaye subsequently lost.
The former lawmaker also lost a bid to contest in the Kogi governorship election after losing in the PDP’s primary election.
Melaye did not mention on Tuesday if he’ll press his case further at the Supreme Court.