Lagos Guber: A’court dismisses Jandor, Rhodes-Vivour’s appeal, affirms Sanwo-Olu’s victory - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Lagos Guber: A’court dismisses Jandor, Rhodes-Vivour’s appeal, affirms Sanwo-Olu’s victory

A three-man panel of the Election Petition Appeal sitting in Lagos yesterday affirmed the re-election of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Kehinde Obafemi Hamzat, as duly elected governor and deputy governor of Lagos State, respectively.

The justices of the court of appeal in a unanimous decision dismissed two separate appeals filed by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and its candidate Olajide Adeniran a.k.a Jandor and Labour Party, LP, and it’s candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivor, for lack of merit.

The judgment was delivered by Justice Yargata Nimpa, Justice Samuel Bola and Justice Paul Bassey.

In March, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, declared Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the Lagos governorship election.

Sanwo-Olu polled 762,134 votes to defeat his close challenger, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour who scored 312,329 votes. Abdulazeez Adediran, came a distant third with 62,449 votes.


Not satisfied, the LP and PDP candidates approached the Lagos State Election Petitions Tribunal to nullify Sanwo-Olu’s victory.

In its ruling on September 25, the tribunal dismissed Adediran and Rhodes-Vivour suit seeking to nullify the victory of Sanwo-Olu at the poll.

Displeased with the verdict, on October 13, Jandor and Rhode-Vivour filed separate grounds of appeal challenging the judgment of the tribunal.

Delivering judgment in Jandor’s appeal, the three member appellate panel headed by Justice Yagarta Nimpar held that the appellant couldn’t complain of being denied fair hearing at the lower court having filed his additional witness statement on oath outside the stipulated time.

The court also held that the appellant was a meddlesome interloper in challenging the emergence of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat at the primary exercise of their party, APC, adding that he was neither an aspirant nor a member of the party

The court added that the issue of nomination, sponsorship and qualification of a candidate presumed to have won an election are pre-election matters, which ought not to have come before the tribunal but a regular court.

On the issue that the governor forged his secondary school certificate, the court held that the Nigerian Constitution doesn’t provide that a candidate need to attach his certificate in his forms. It also found that the appellant failed to establish forgery as alleged, by not tendering the presumed original certificate along with what was said to be fake.

“Even though they were all pre-election matters, the appellants (PDP and Adeniran) still failed to prove them. The appellants came empty-handed and left empty-handed. They merely enjoyed their day in court. Their petition is dismissed,” the court held.

The court also dismissed the appeal by LP and Rhodes-Vivour, which was primarily based on the alleged renunciation of Nigerian citizenship by the deputy governor. The justices held that material evidence needed to prove their claims weren’t provided, as the appellant bore the burden of proof which he failed to discharge to the respondents.

According to them, under section 28 of the Nigerian Constitution, a citizen of Nigeria by birth doesn’t lose his citizenship even when he assumes the citizenship of another country.

“No breach of the right to fair hearing by the lower court has been established by the appellant as claimed. This appeal has hit the rock and it falls flat on its face due to the paucity of evidence. The judgment of the tribunal is hereby affirmed; the return and declaration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat are also affirmed. All parties are to bear their costs.”.

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