The Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja on Monday dismissed a petition filed by the Labour Party and reaffirmed Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected governor of the state in the March 9 polls.
The tribunal described the petition as a “futile and wasteful exercise,” noting that the LP and Ifagbemi Awamaridi, its governorship candidate in the election, could not prove the allegations of mental incompetence against Sanwo-Olu in their evidence before the tribunal.
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The three-man panel of judges led by Justice T. T Asua, in its three-hour judgment, held that the petitioners also failed to prove their allegations of election malpractice against Sanwo-Olu and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
The tribunal held that it’s earlier decision to dismiss the petition which was later appealed by the petitioners was still valid because the petition was not filed according to the laws governing the electoral laws.
“The petitioners have failed to meet the requirement of the law. The petitioners have failed in our humble view to discharge the onus of proof which would have been placed on the respondents.
“We confirm the return of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the duly elected Governor of the state,” Asua said.
Earlier, the tribunal had struck out the names of the fourth to seventh respondents – The Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos State, the Returning Officer for Lagos State Governorship Election, the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State and the Nigeria Army.
It held that from the evidence adduced, there were no ties linking them to the allegations contained in the petition.
During the hearing of the petition, the petitioners had called six witnesses (including Awamaridi and three subpoenaed witnesses) while the respondents did not call any witness.
On the governor’s alleged mental ill health, the tribunal said the petitioners could not prove their allegations which were contained in paragraphs 19 and 20 of the Petition.
“No scintilla of evidence was presented to prove the assertion that the second respondent is of unsound mental health.
“No newspaper evidence and medical evidence from the Gbagada General Hospital was presented at the tribunal.
“PW5 openly stated in court that ‘the evidence does not exist’. That portion of the petition remains abandoned, and I so hold,” the tribunal chairman said. (NAN)