The Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal has upheld Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s re-election and dismissed the petition of Peoples Democratic Party Governorship Candidate Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, who challenged the return of Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.
According to Section 177 of the Constitution, Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Hamzat, are entitled to run for governor of the state on March 18, 2023.
The judge noticed that they are political party members and had a high school diploma.
The constitution’s section 177 provided that “A person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if a) he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth; (b) he has attained the age of thirty-five years; (c) he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and (d) he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”
“We considered the evidence presented in this court.” He has the most votes. “This petition is doomed from the start.”
“Given the evidence presented before the court, the petitioner’s grounds for disqualifying the second and third respondents are without merit.”
However, Justices Arum Ashom and Igho Braimoh supported the decision.
Previously, the Tribunal dismissed Jandor’s motion to disqualify Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s candidacy.
Jandor contended in his motion, as well as in his formal petition, that Sanwo-Olu and his running companion, Obafemi Hamzat, should not be allowed to participate in the March 18, 2023 governorship elections in Lagos State.
The petitioner claimed that Mr Sanwo-Olu was not competent to be elected and was thus unlawfully nominated and supported by his party, the All Progressives Party.
He had responded to section 134(1)(a) of the Electoral Act of 2022, which deals with the grounds for filing an electoral petition.
However, while reviewing the Tribunal’s findings on the subject, Justice Abdullahi found that this stance did not constitute a reason for disqualification from election to the office of Governor under sections 177 and 182 of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended).
The tribunal also stated that it lacks jurisdiction to investigate the APC primary election that produced Sanwo-Olu, seeing it as a pre-election concern.
“Only an aspirant or member of a political party can complain about the outcome of the party’s primary, not a busybody like the petitioner.”
This ruling is part of the decision in Jandor’s petition.
Earlier on Monday, the tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Arum Ashom, said that a decision on the petition of the Labour Party’s governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, will be given later.
Justice Igho Braimoh is the panel’s third member.
The tribunal also wiped out the names of the Labour Party and its candidate from the list of respondents, stating that a petition is intended to be filed between the winner and loser of an election, not between two people who lost.
The tribunal also deleted from its records all exhibits presented in evidence by Rhodes-Vivour and the LP in Jandor’s petition, adding that they cannot thereafter challenge any element of the verdict in Jandor’s petition or else become a meddling interloper.
The Independent National Electoral Commission certified Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress the winner of the governorship race.
He received 762,134 votes versus Mr Rhodes-Vivour’s 312,329 votes. Jide Adediran came in third place with 62,449 votes.