The hearing of appeals contesting the verdict of the Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal, which upheld the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has commenced at the Court of Appeal in Lagos.
It was gathered that the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Obafemi Hamzat, arrived at the Court premises on Tuesday morning to represent his principal, Sanwo-Olu.
Recall that the Election Petitions Tribunal had, on September 25, 2023, upheld the re-election of Sanwo-Olu and his deputy as the duly elected governor of the state.
The two petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and the Labour Party, along with their respective governorship candidates, Olajide Adediran and Rhodes-Vivour, were dismissed by the three-man panel in a unanimous decision. Justice Mikail Abdullahi, on behalf of the panel, read the judgement which stated that the PDP’s petition lacked merit and was therefore dismissed.
“I affirm the election and return of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of Lagos state,” the Tribunal had ruled.
The tribunal deliberated on the question of its competence and jurisdiction to hear the petition. Justice Abdullahi affirmed that this question had already been settled during the preliminary objection stage.
The second matter for the tribunal’s determination was whether Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Obafemi Hamzat were validly nominated by their party, the All Progressives Congress, to participate in the elections.
The tribunal referenced relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act, as well as numerous precedent cases, to establish that this issue pertained to pre-election matters and did not concern the conduct of the contested polls.
Furthermore, the tribunal concluded that the petitioners, who are not members of the 4th respondent, the APC, lacked the standing to challenge the party’s primary elections which resulted in the selection of both candidates.
Sodiq Lawal is a passionate and dedicated journalist with a knack for uncovering captivating stories in the bustling metropolis of Osun State and Nigeria at large. He has a versatile reporting style, covering a wide range of topics, from politics , campus, and social issues to arts and culture, seeking impact in all facets of the society.