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Kogi’s Governorship Election Tribunal relocated to Abuja

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Kogi’s Governorship Election Tribunal relocated to Abuja
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The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, has approved the relocation of the Kogi State governorship election petitions tribunal from Lokoja to Abuja.

The Secretary to the tribunal, Mr. David Umar Mike, who confirmed the development in a statement on Wednesday in Lokoja, said that its sittings would now be at the National Judicial Institute on Umar Yar’Adua Way, Abuja.

He urged litigants to take note of the venue change.

The secretary was silent on the reason behind the relocation, but a top source at the tribunal said the step was necessitated by “security reasons.”

The source added that staff of the tribunal had been attacked on several occasions in Lokoja.

“Just last Monday, tribunal officials were attacked on the way to the office. Armed men just pounced on the officials. They robbed them of everything. They took away all the documents that were in the car.

READ ALSO: Gunmen invade Kogi election tribunal, steal petition documents

“Copies of petitions and personal belongings, official receipts, processes like subpoena, official stamps, were all stolen. Generally, thugs are frustrating the job and the lives of our officials are at stake, making it difficult to work there,” the source said,” he stated.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Usman Ododo as the winner of the election ahead of his Social Democratic Party (SDP) challenger, Murtala Ajaka.

Ajaka is however challenging the outcome of the election over alleged fraud in the exercise.

According to the police authorities, the documents carted away from Mike include, petitions filed by four (4) Parties: Action Alliance (AA), Action People’s Party (APP), Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) as well as two (2) Record Books/a Bag containing his personal item.

The police added that the incident happened just before the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) office at about 1320hrs on Monday, while victims were on their way to the tribunal venue at the state High court complex, Lokoja.

Meanwhile, the police command has advised the general public to avoid statements that may prejudice ongoing investigation into the matter even as the command appealed to anyone with useful information on the incident to provide the same to the command.

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