The Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal, on Monday, rejected the All Progressives Congress’ preliminary objection, which requested that the Peoples Democratic Party’s appeal be rejected.
The petitioner’s failure to adhere to Electoral Act regulations regarding the payment of security as to cost resulted in the preliminary objection being rejected.
Justice Mikail Abdullahi, one of the tribunal’s three members, rejected the objection after hearing several preliminary arguments that questioned the petition’s petition’s competence in certain areas.
The Labour Party’s governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and the Peoples Democratic Party’s governorship candidate, Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, are challenging the victory of Sanwo-Olu at the March 18, 2023, governorship election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had declared Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress winner of the March 18 governorship election.
Sanwo-Olu had won the election by a landslide, defeating Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, who came second.
The Lagos State Governor polled 762,134 votes to beat Rhodes-Vivour, who scored 312,329 votes. Jide Adediran (Jandor) of the PDP came a distant third, polling 62,449 votes.
Adediran and the PDP, who filed the petition, predicated it on two claims: first, that Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos, and Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy, were ineligible to run for office at the time of the election.
Adediran added that the Labour Party’s candidate for governor, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, who the first respondent INEC reported received the second-highest number of votes, was ineligible to run at the time of the election.
But the APC in their preliminary objection asked the Tribunal to strike out PDP’s petition, but the tribunal dismissed the objection.
Some of the Motion of the 2nd and 3rd Respondents to strike out some paragraphs of the Petition and additional statements on Oaths filed outside the 21 days provided by the electoral Act succeed in part.
The Petition’s paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 were all struck out, as well as the supplementary statement made under oath that was similar to the struck-out paragraphs.
The tribunal held, “That the 5th & 6th respondent ought not to have been made respondents to the petition cannot rob the tribunal of the jurisdiction to hear the parties. The question of misjoinder cannot lead to a striking out of the petition as the proper order to make is to strike out the names of the parties”.
“Already the name of the 5th respondent has been struck out and the 6th respondent who has been found to be improperly joined is also ordered to be struck out”.
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