2nd December, 2011
The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, has dismissed the appeal filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for the Lagos West Senatorial District, Mr. Moshood Adegoke Salvador, against his Action Congress of Nigeria counterpart, Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, GOS.
The appelate court in its judgment delivered by Justice Ibrahim Saulawa (presiding), aligned with the decision of the tribunal that the petition filed by Salvador was fundamentally defective as it does not contain any prayer for the nullification of the third respondent’s election.
Justice Saulawa in his lead judgment supported by other justices also ordered the appellant (Salvador) to pay N50,000 as cost to each of the respondents.
The National Assembly/Legislative House Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lagos had, in October, dismissed Salvador’s petition against GOS.
Dissatisfied, Salvador approached the appellate court, urging it to set aside the judgment of the tribunal and order a fresh panel set up by the president of the Court of Appeal to hear his petition de novo (afresh).
He had in the petition, urged the tribunal to declare him winner of the April election and submitted that he ought toÂ have been returned as having scored the highest number of valid votes cast in the election.
But ruling in a preliminary objection brought by Prof. Yemi Osibajo, SAN, counsel to Solomon, the tribunal Chairman, Justice Maurice Eneji, held that the petition was fundamentally defective and irreparable.
Meanwhile, GOS, who is theÂ the Senate Minority Whip, described the victory of the national leader of the ACN, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at the Code of Conduct Tribunal as victory for democracy, justice and fair play.
While congratulating Tinubu on his victory,Â he noted that the ruling of the tribunal indicated that the judiciary is still the last hope of the common man.
â€œThe tribunal ruling in favour of Asiwaju Tinubu is a victory for democracy, justice and fair play. Once again, the Nigerian judiciary has proved that it is anchored on truth, justice and rule of law. We are happy with this ruling which has rekindled our hope in the judiciary of this country,â€ Senator Solomon said.
He stated that the victory will furtherÂ enourage Tinubu in his fight for the emancipation of Nigerians and institution of good governance in the country.