Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal Upholds Sanwo-Olu’s Election
The Dismissal of Labour Party’s Petition
The Governorship Election Tribunal of Lagos State has dismissed the petition filed by the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, following a similar decision regarding the petition of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The Tribunal stated that the petition lacked merit and did not provide adequate evidence to support the assertion that the election of Sanwo-Olu was invalid due to allegations of corrupt practices or lack of compliance with the Electoral Act.
In one aspect, the Tribunal did rule in favor of Rhodes-Vivour, affirming his right to file the petition. However, it dismissed his claim that the 2nd and 3rd respondents were disqualified due to the 3rd respondent’s dual citizenship. The Tribunal upheld the legality of dual nationality for a Nigerian citizen by birth, even when running for office.
Dismissal of PDP Candidate’s Petition
The Tribunal also dismissed the petition of the PDP candidate, Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, against the election of Sanwo-Olu. The Tribunal asserted its jurisdiction to hear the petition but found it lacking in merit, especially regarding the validity of the nomination of Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to contest the polls.
Confirmation of Sanwo-Olu’s Election
The Tribunal, in its conclusion, affirmed the election and return of Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of Lagos state. This decision came after lengthy proceedings and careful consideration of the petitions filed by both the Labour Party and the People’s Democratic Party.
Implications for Future Elections
This verdict sends a strong message about the need for concrete evidence and proper legal procedures in election disputes. The dismissal of both petitions on the ground of insufficient evidence highlights the importance of the Electoral Act’s compliance, as well as the need to respect the jurisdiction of the Election Tribunal. It also affirms the legality of dual citizenship in Nigerian politics, a topic of contention in recent years.
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