Breaking: Sanwo-Olu floors Rhodes-Vivour, Jandor as Tribunal affirms his victory

Sanwo-Olu 2

Sanwo-Olu in joy

By Akin Kuponiyi

The Lagos Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has affirmed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu winner of the March 18 Governorship election in Lagos.

The Tribunal dismissed the petitions filed by the Labour Party’s governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour against the election of Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Kadri Hamzat.

In an unanimous judgment late Monday, Justice Arum Ashom held that the petition of Labour Party and Rhodes-Vivour lacked merit and dismissed it.

Justice Ashom, who read the unanimous lead judgment declared that the petition is devoid of merit.
On the oath of allegiance to the United States of America by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, the tribunal held that being a citizen of Nigeria by birth, his oath of allegiance  to United State does not prevent him from contesting election.
Consequently, the tribunal rejected the witness statement and evidence of Mrs. Olubusayo  Fasidi, a US Immigration  lawyer, stressing that her witness statement and testimony were misconceived.
The witness whose statement on oath was filed out of time could not hold water as the judge cited the judgment of the presidential election where 10 witnesses of Labour Party were dismissed.
Consequently, the Tribunal affirmed the declaration of INEC of the election of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat as the Governor and deputy Governor duly elected by the people of Lagos.

Earlier, the Tribunal had dismissed the petitions filed by the PDP and its candidate, Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, against Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat.

The tribunal declared that Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat are eminently qualified to contest the March 18 governorship election in the state under section 177 of the Constitution.

Justice Mikhail Abdullahi noted that they are members of political party and educated up to school certificate level.

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Section 177 of the constitution stipulated 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 have considered evidence before this court. He has highest number of votes.  This petition is dead on arrival. In view of evidence adduced before the court, the grounds on which the petitioners is seeking disqualification of 2nd and 3rd respondents lacks merit.

“I have found Gov Sanwo-Olu and deputy Dr Hamzat duly elected and therefore declared them winner,” the judge said.

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