House Of Reps Seat: ACN Floors Labour

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The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lagos this afternoon dismissed the petition filed by a Labour Party candidate, Cosmas Okoli against the election of Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, candidate, Ganiyu Olukolu during the House of Representatives election held in April.

The petitioner had challenged the ACN candidate’s victory in respect of Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency seat.

The tribunal had dismissed the preliminary objection by the ACN challenging the locus standi of Cosmas Okoli on two grounds, that as at the time of the election, Okoli was a card carrying member of ACN and that he did not participate in the primary election of the Labour Party. In addition, his petition was filed on a public holiday.

However, the tribunal held that all the grounds of the objection the ACN canvassed for, are re-election matters which it cannot adjudicate upon and that an election petition can be filed any day.

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Delivering judgement, the tribunal chairman, Justice Maurice Eneji, dismissed the petition of the Labour Party candidate and upheld the victory of ACN on the grounds that contrary to section 19 (1) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended, the petitioner wrote a letter to the Secretary of the tribunal to issue hearing notices to the respondents in the matter instead of filing a motion to that effect.

The tribunal therefore dismissed the petition and awarded a cost of N100,000 against the petitioner.

—Akin Kuponiyi