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Court to deliver judgment on Lagos East Senatorial bye-election March 1

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Tokunbo Abiru

The Federal High Court, Lagos, will on March 1, 2021, deliver judgment in respect of the bye-election for the Lagos East Senatorial District held on December 5, 2020, after the conclusion of arguments by counsel to all the parties.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate in the said election, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi, had taken the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Senator Adetokunbo Abiru and All Progressives Congress (APC) to court, seeking to disqualify him from contesting the election on the ground of double voter’s registration and violation of Section 31 of the Electoral Act, among others.

In the suit filed on its behalf by human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), the PDP is seeking an order of the court directing INEC to delete the name of Abiru and the APC from the list of the candidates and political parties to participate in the bye-election.

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It is also asking for an order nullifying, cancelling and voiding the nomination, submission and acceptance of the name of Abiru as the candidate of the APC for the bye-election and an order disqualifying Abiru as a candidate in the bye-election.

In their responses to the case, the INEC, Abiru and APC, contended that the case of the plaintiffs lacks merit as the candidate was duly nominated and qualified for the said bye-election.

In particular, Abiru and APC, through their counsel, Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) and Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), raised preliminary objections to the suit, contending that it was statute barred and not justiciable in law.

On January 22, 2021 when the case came up for hearing before Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court, Lagos, all the lawyers addressed the court, adopted their respective processes and concluded arguments on the case.

Subsequently, the judge adjourned the case to March 1, 2021, to deliver judgment.

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