Appeal court affirms Ododo as Kogi governor

Governor of Kogi State, Usman Ododo

The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has affirmed the election of Usman Ododo as the Governor of Kogi State.

A three-man panel of the appellate court affirmed the Kogi State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which affirmed the victory of Ododo as the duly elected governor of Kogi State in the November 11, 2023 governorship election after dismissing the appeal filed by the Social Democratic Party’s candidate, Murtala Yakubu Ajaka.

The Appellate Court, while resolving all four grounds of appeal against the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and its governorship candidate, Murtala Ajaka, held that the petitioners failed to prove all the allegations in their petition beyond a reasonable doubt.

The court also ruled that the issue of alleged certificate forgery against Ododo is a pre-election matter and ought to have commenced at the Federal High Court.


In November 2023, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate, Usman Ododo, as the winner of the keenly contested November 11, 2023 Kogi State Governorship Election.

Ododo polled 446,237 votes, to beat his closest rival, Murtala Ajaka of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), who scored 259,052, while Dino Melaye of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) polled 46,362 votes.

Dissatisfied with the outcome of the election, Ajaka approached the tribunal seeking an overturn of the election results and an order directing INEC to conduct a fresh election in about five LGAs.

The SDP and its candidate challenged the poll on the grounds of alleged forgery, voting and non-compliance to the Electoral Act.

They also called some witnesses from the five Local Government Areas including Adavi, and Okene LGAs, disputing the results in the polling units.

But the tribunal dismissed the petition and affirmed Ododo’s election, holding that the petitioner could not prove that the governor presented a forged certificate, among other things.