September 25, 2023

Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat gov ticket inseparable – Tribunal

Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat

The Lagos Governorship Election Petition Tribunal said the governorship ticket of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat is one and inseparable.

Justice Mikhail Abdullahi stated this while delivering judgment in the objection of PDP candidate Olajide Adediran against the election of Governor Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat in the March 18 election in the state.

Governor Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat are the 2nd and 3rd respondents in the petition.

The tribunal held that this issue has been decided in a number of cases and went on to hold that a deputy governor and governor are not separate candidates.

It also held that they are not required to pay a separate security deposit.

The Tribunal earlier today (Monday) struck out the names of the 5th respondent, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and his party, Labour Party, LP (the 6th respondent) from the petition filed by the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olajide Adediran, popularly known as ‘Jandor’.

Jandor’s petition is challenging the victory of Sanwo-Olu at the March 18, 2023, governorship election.

Meanwhile, the Tribunal also dismissed the preliminary objection of the All Progressives Congress, APC, which asked it to dismiss PDP’s petition.

The Tribunal dismissed the preliminary objection because the petitioner did not comply with provisions of the Electoral Act about payment of security as to cost.

The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, had declared Sanwo-Olu of APC winner of the March 18 governorship election.

Sanwo-Olu polled 762,134 votes to beat Rhodes-Vivour, who scored 312,329 votes. Jide Adediran (Jandor) of the PDP came a distant third, polling 62,449 votes.

Today, Monday, shortly after the announcement of appearances by all lawyers and parties in the case, the Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Arum Ashom announced that the court will first deliver judgment in the case of the PDP and its candidate before giving its judgment in the petition of the governorship candidate of LP, Rhodes-Vivour.

Justice Ashom also yielded the floor to his brother-judge, Justice Mikail Abdullahi, to read the judgment on behalf of the panel.

The third judge on the panel is Justice Igho Braimoh.

In its judgment on Jandor’s petition, the tribunal first dwelt on the preliminary objections filed by the parties.

The first objection taken was whether the 3rd respondent, the Deputy Governor of Lagos, Obafemi Hamzat, is a separate and distinct candidate from the 2nd respondent, Babajide SanwoOlu-Olu.

The tribunal was also asked to determine whether the deputy governor could be listed as a respondent in the petition.

The Tribunal noted that this issue had been decided in a number of cases and went on to hold that a deputy governor and governor are not separate candidates and they are not required to pay separate security deposit.

In the second objection, the tribunal was asked to decide whether a person who lost an election could be joined as a respondent in an election petition.

Jandor had joined the candidate of the Labour Party, Rhodes-Vivour as a respondent in his petition.