Lagos: Tribunal To Deliver Judgment On Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s Victory Today

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Lagos: Tribunal To Deleiver Judgment On Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s Victory Today

In the wake of the March 18 Lagos governorship election, the declaration by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) naming Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), as the winner, triggered a legal battle.

The Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Lagos is poised to render its judgment today, Monday 25th September 2023, marking a crucial turning point in the dispute surrounding the election.

The suits contesting the legitimacy of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s victory have been filed by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party’s gubernatorial candidate, and Olajide Adediran, commonly known as Jandor, who represented the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The announcement of this impending judgment came from the Justice Arum Ashom-led panel on a Saturday, with final written arguments presented before the tribunal on August 12.

It’s noteworthy that Sanwo-Olu secured a decisive win in the election, outpacing Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, who landed in the second position. The final vote count showed the Lagos State Governor amassing 762,134 votes, while Rhodes-Vivour garnered 312,329 votes. Jide Adediran, also known as Jandor, representing the PDP, secured a distant third place with 62,449 votes.

All You Need To Know About Jandor’s Petition

Mr Adediran demanded the disqualification of Mr Sanwo-Olu and Mr Rhodes-Vivour in the election for “non-compliance” with the Electoral Act 2022 as well as the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In the petition marked EPT/LAG/GOV/01/2023 dated 7 April, the petitioners said the APC did not comply with the INEC timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election which stipulated that all political parties must give 21 days’ notice to INEC before the conduct of their primaries.

According to the petition, the APC also failed to comply with the requirement of the Electoral Act 2022 which states that every political party sponsoring a candidate in the general election shall submit the nomination form of such candidate(s) not later than 180 days before the conduct of the general election in forms EC9.

Adediran and the PDP added that Mr Sanwo-Olu failed to attach a copy of the GCE O’Level result he claimed to have sat for in 1981 along with his form EC9 as required by the Electoral Act 2022.

“This development sparked a curiosity, with Adediran and PDP applying for the CTC of Sanwo-Olu 2019 from CF001,” the petition reads.

“It was then discovered that a statement of result issued by Ijebu Ife Community Grammar School, Ijebu-Ife for May/June 1981 GCE O’ Level examination with examination number 17624/118 which he submitted for his first term election as governor of the state was not confirmed by WAEC.

“When Jandor and PDP approached WAEC for confirmation, they were directed to purchase the scratch card for verification of the WAEC result scratch card, which then confirmed the results as not emanating from WAEC, it came back to be a fake result.”

Mr Adediran also hinged the disqualification of LP’s governorship candidate who scored the second highest number of votes on alleged non-compliance of the party with the requirements of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the primary election that produced the candidate.

He said Mr Rhodes-Vivour was still a member of the PDP as of 18 June 2022 when he claimed under oath to have registered as a member of the LP.

All You Need To Know About Rhodes-Vivour’s Petition

The petitioner approached the court on 9 April challenging the election outcome based on alleged non-qualification and claims of corrupt practices or non-compliance with the provisions of the Electoral Act, 2022.

He alleged that the governor was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.

The LP’s candidate is also challenging the eligibility of Mr Hamzat to contest on grounds that he allegedly renounced his Nigerian citizenship and swore allegiance to the United States of America.

INEC is the first respondent in the petition, while Mr. Sanwo-Olu and his deputy are listed as the second and third respondents, respectively. The APC is listed as the fourth respondent.

On 12 August, lawyers in the petitions adopted their final written addresses before the tribunal.

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