THE Lagos Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has dismissed the petitions brought by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour and the Labour Party challenging the victory of Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 18 governorship election.
In a judgement delivered on Monday, September 25, the tribunal dismissed Rhodes-Vivour and LP’s petitions, describing them as lacking in merit.
The tribunal focused on the parties’ initial objections before delivering its ruling. It reaffirmed its prior ruling that the Federal High Court had jurisdiction over the nomination of candidates because it was a pre-election matter.
Additionally, it was decided that the petitioner did not present enough evidence to substantiate his claim that Sanwo-Olu’s election was illegitimate due to alleged fraud or other violations of the Electoral Act.
The court discounted the oral testimony of four subpoenaed witnesses called by the petitioner, Rhodes-Vivour, by relying on the decision of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in the petition of Peter Obi and three others.
The court said that violating the Electoral Act’s rules, the four witnesses, like the ten Obi had subpoenaed before the Presidential Election Court, had no witness statements and were never named when the petition was filed.
However, the Tribunal decided in the petitioner’s favour when it determined that he had the authority to file the case.
Subsequently, the court dismissed Gbadebo’s petition and affirmed Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of Lagos State.
The ICIR reports that Rhodes-Vivour had petitioned the court to declare the governor’s election invalid based on ineligibility, fraud, and violation of the Electoral Act 2022’s rules.
The LP candidate claimed in his petition that most of the valid votes cast did not legitimately elect Sanwo-Olu.
According to the LP candidate, most valid votes were not in Sanwo-Olu’s favour at the election.
The petitioners also contested Sanwo-Olu’s running mate, Obafemi Hamzat’s eligibility, claiming he had renounced his Nigerian citizenship and sworn allegiance to the US, becoming a citizen of that nation.
The ICIR reported that the tribunal had earlier dismissed the suit of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the March 18 election, Olajide Adeniran.
In a judgement delivered on Monday, September 25, the court dismissed Adeniran’s petition.
In a unanimous judgement by Mikail Abdullahi on behalf of the three-person panel, the tribunal held that the PDP’s petition and its governorship candidate lacked merit.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Sanwo-Olu the winner of the governorship election.
Sanwo-Olu got 762,134 votes to beat Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the LP, who scored 312,329 votes, while Adediran came third with 62,449 votes.