Lagos Tribunal dismisses PDP petition against Sanwo-Olu’s election

The Lagos State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has dismissed the petition filed by People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate for the March 18 election, Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, against the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

The three-man Tribunal presided over by Justice Arum Ashom threw out the petition for lacking in merit.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Sanwo-Olu of APC winner of the March 18 governorship election with 762,134 votes to beat Rhodes-Vivour, who Polled 312,329 votes. Jide Adediran, Jandor, of the PDP came a distant third, polling 62,449 votes.

The Tribunal is yet to deliver the judgment in Rhodes-Vivour’s petition against Sanwo-Olu’s victory.

Respondents in the petition filed by the PDP and Jandor were the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat, the All Progressives Congress, APC, Labour Party and its candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

They are asking the Tribunal to disqualify Sanwo-Olu and Rhodes-Vivour for “non-compliance” with the Electoral Act 2022 as well as the guidelines of INEC in the conduct of the March 18, 2023 election.

In the petition marked EPT/LAG/GOV/01/2023 dated April 7, the petitioners said APC did not comply with the INEC timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election, which stipulated that all political parties must give 21 days’ notice to INEC before the conduct of the primary election.

Besides the allegation of non-compliance with relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, Adediran added that at the time of the governorship election, Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat, and Rhodes-Vivour were not qualified to contest the election.

He asked that all votes cast for them in the election be declared wasted and he should be declared the winner of the governorship election.

However, the Tribunal in a unanimous judgement, held that all the issues raised by the petitioners were pre-election matter of which the Tribunal lacks jurisdiction to entertain.

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