The Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate Olajide on Monday rejected the verdict of the Lagos State tribunal which upheld the victory of Governo Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of the state.
The Punch reported that Lagos State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal late Monday night upheld the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of the state.
The three-man panel in its unanimous decision dismissed the two petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate Olajide Adediran, and that of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
But the PDP candidate, Jandor, rejected the verdict.
Addressing PDP petition, the tribunal, in its judgment read by Justice Mikail Abdullahi on behalf of the three-man panel, held that the petition of the PDP and its candidate lacked merit, and the same was dismissed accordingly.
“I affirm the election and return of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of Lagos State. Parties are to bear their cost,” the judge held.
Earlier, the tribunal addressed all the preliminary objections raised by the parties before considering the issues raised for determination.
The tribunal entertained the question of whether it had the competence and jurisdiction to hear the petition. Justice Abdullahi answered this question in the affirmative and held that this issue had already been resolved at the preliminary objection stage.
The second issue for the tribunal’s determination was whether Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Obafemi Hamzat were validly nominated by their party, All Progressives Congress, to contest the polls. The tribunal cited relevant provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Act and a plethora of decided cases to the effect that this was a pre-election issue that did not relate to the conduct of the polls being challenged.
The tribunal also held that the petitioners are not members of the 4th respondent, the APC, and therefore have no locus to challenge the primaries of the party that produced both men.
On the issue of the forged certificate allegedly presented by Sanwo-Olu, the tribunal noted, amongst other things, that the petitioner Jandor, who testified in his petition told the court that he did not attend the school, Community Grammar School, Ijebu-Ife, where the certificate originated from. He had also testified that the principal of the school was still alive.
The tribunal wondered why he didn’t call as a witness, the principal of the school, or any of the staff to testify about the certificate.
In the final analysis, the tribunal held, “that the petition lacks merit and is accordingly dismissed.
After a 10-minute break, the tribunal reconvened to consider the Petition filed by the LP candidate, Rhodes-Vivour.
The tribunal chairman, Justice Arum Ashom, in his lead judgment, dismissed the petition, declaring it lacked merit.
On the oath of allegiance to the United States of America by the Deputy Governor, the tribunal held that being a citizen of Nigeria by birth, his oath of allegiance to the US does not prevent him from contesting election.
Consequently, the tribunal affirmed the declaration of INEC of the election of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat as the governor and deputy duly elected.
Reacting to the judgment in a statement by the spokesman for his campaign team, PDP’s Jandor expressed his displeasure over the verdict, saying it was at variance with the provisions of the constitution and the Electoral Act.
He said he would further study the judgment and decide his next line of action.