Court dismisses PDP, Labour’s petitions against Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat
Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal Petition has declared that the petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Dr Abdulazeez Adediran against Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of All Progressives Congress (APC) is lacking in merit.
The court, therefore, declared Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, the winner of the March 18 governorship election.In the second objection, the tribunal was asked to decide whether a person, who lost an election, could be joined as a respondent in an election petition.
Adediran had joined the candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, as a respondent in his petition. Citing a list of decided cases, the tribunal agreed that a petition is contemplated to be filed between the winner and the loser of an election and not between two persons who lost.
The tribunal therefore upheld the preliminary objection and subsequently struck out the name of the 5th respondent, Rhodes-Vivour from the petition filed by Adediran.
The tribunal also expunged from its records all exhibits tendered in evidence by Rhodes-Vivour in the petition filed by Adediran. The tribunal held that Rhodes-Vivour cannot subsequently go on to challenge any part of the judgment of Adediran’s petition or else he becomes a meddlesome interloper.
PDP and its candidate, Adediran, had filed a petition challenging the Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the election. Delivering the judgment, Justice Mikhail Abdullahi held that the petitions filed by Adediran was dead on arrival, as the evidence adduced before the tribunal showed that the petition lacked merit.
The court held that tribunal had no power to interfere in the issue of nomination, sponsorship and improper nomination in the petition filed by Adediran.
Justice Abdullahi said the issues were pre-election matters and internal affairs of the party in accordance with the provision of Section 131 (1) of the Electoral Act.
He said that only party members could challenge party for non-compliance with Electoral Act on issue of nomination as the petitioner had no modus operandi to challenge since they are not party members. He also said the governorship ticket of Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, was one ticket and inseparable.
The court, therefore, held that the petitions filed by Adediran (Jandor) was “dead on arrival as the evidence adduced before the tribunal showed that the petition lacked merit.
The judgment read: “In view of the evidence before the tribunal, I have found Gov. Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Hamzat, duly elected and I therefore declare them winner of the March 18 governorship poll,”
The Tribunal however disagreed with the objections made by the APC and its candidate that the misjoinder of the LP and its candidate was a ground for striking out the petition.
The tribunal held: “That the 5th and 6th respondents ought not have been made respondents to the petition and cannot rob the tribunal of the jurisdiction to hear the parties. The question of mis-joinder cannot lead to a striking out of the petition as the proper order to make is to strike out the names of the parties.
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