• Every Conspiracy Against Me’ll Fail — Melaye
Senator Dino Melaye alleges that the national leader of All Progressives Congress Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and immediate-past Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, have decided to unite against him in his case at the election tribunal.
Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja
Senator Dino Melaye of the Kogi West yesterday in Abuja alleged that the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and immediatepast Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke, have decided to close ranks and unite against him in his case at the election tribunal.
Melaye told journalists that a senior editor in Abuja close to Tinubu has allegedly forwarded the legal brief filed by Senator Smart Adeyemi to Adoke, asking the ex-AGF to look for a judge in the Court of Appeal that would offer assistance.
The lawmaker was said to have incurred the wrath of Tinubu, after refusing to back down from supporting the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, during the recently concluded election of leaders in the 8th National Assembly.
But Melaye said he has no regret over his role, leading to the emergence of Senator Saraki as Senate President.“I have no regret supporting Senator Saraki and my electoral victory was ordained by God and not by man.
Therefore, no mortal can reverse it, in God I trust, no matter how desperate they might be. I am privy to an electronic mail sent to Adoke by an Abujabased senior editor, who is close to Tinubu in which he forwarded the court papers filed by Adeyemi at the tribunal to Adoke.
In the said e-mail, Adoke was told to look for a trusted Justice in the Court of Appeal who would be useful for Smart Adeyemi,” he said. The Election Petition Tribunal in Lokoja had upheld the election of Melaye who was elected on the platform of the APC. The Tribunal had dismissed the petition filed by a former chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and former chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Adeyemi, for lacking in merit.
Delivering judgment in the suit, Chairman of the three-member tribunal, Justice Akon Ikpeme, described the petition by Smart Adeyemi, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as “incurably defective.”
According to Justice Ikpeme, the petition ran contrary to the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 (as Amended). The judge held that election petition matters were time bound and do not permit resorting to time wasting. He added that replying out of time as stipulated in the Electoral Act is a sign of abandonment and, therefore, cannot be entertained.
She said findings have shown that there is no alternative to dismissing the petition from the petitioner, having gone through all the processes and seen that the reply to preliminary objection was filed out of the stipulated time and that pursuing the matter would be a mere academic exercise.
“In the final analysis, we find and hold that this petition is incompetent for the reason that the reply to the preliminary objection was out of time on the matter which this tribunal is not vested with jurisdiction to continue,” she said.
Adeyemi had taken Melaye to the National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Lokoja, citing alleged irregularities in the conduct of the election as well as the result declared by INEC on March 28, 2015.