7th October, 2011
The Senate deputy minority whip, Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, GOS, representing Lagos West at the National Assembly on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has again floored Mr. Moshood Adegoke Salvador of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, as the National Assembly Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, upheld his election
Salvador had in his petition urged the tribunal to declare him winner of the April election and submitted that he ought to have been returned as having secured the highest number of valid votes cast in the election.
But rulinag on a preliminary objection brought by Prof. Yemi Osibajo, SAN, counsel to Senator GOS, the tribunal Chairman, Justice Maurice Eneji, held that the petition was fundamentally defective and irreparable.
Justice Eneji further held that the petition did not contain a specific prayer for the nullification of the election as required by section 139 (1) of the Electoral Act.
The petitioner had joined the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and the Returning Officer as First and second respondents respectively.
But, in a preliminary objection, Prof. Osibajo, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition for lack of jurisdiction.
He argued that the petition failed to plead that the alleged non-compliance complained of substantially affected the result of the election.
Osibajo submitted that the petition did not contain specific prayer for the nullification of the election of the third respondent, GOS, as required by section 139 (1) of the Electoral Act.
â€œThe petition is fundamentally defective as it does not contain any prayer for the nullification of the third respondent. Also, there is no room for amendment,â€ he submitted.
But, in his reply, the counsel to the petitioner urged the tribunal to take cognisance of paragraph 53(1,4) of the first Schedule of the Electoral Act, adding that the tribunal has discretionary powers to cure any irregularities noticed in the petition.