Sanwo-Olu says tribunal victory is for all

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Lagos.

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Monday described the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal judgment as a victory for all.

Sanwo-Olu said this while addressing newsmen at the State House in Ikeja,  after an  11 hours judgment by a three-man panel led by Justice Arum Ashom at the Roseline Omotosho Court,  Ikeja, Lagos.

The panel in its unanimous decision, dismissed the two petitions filed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its governorship candidate Abdulazeez Adediran, and Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, his Labour Party counterpart.

The governor lauded  the judges for doing a good job,  adding that they gave a well thought out and detailed judgment.

Sanwo-Olu said the verdict was a call to greater service while assuring that his government would continue to work harder to deliver  dividends of democracy to the people

“It was a long, tough process but we are grateful that the voice of people of Lagos was heard and upheld.

“The deputy governor and I are very privileged and thankful to residents for standing for and by us. It is a victory for all, no winner, no loser.

“It is, however, an opportunity for more work and service. Therefore, we will continue to work harder to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people,” he said.

The governor called on other candidates to join hands together to build a Lagos of their dreams.

According to him, l extend, again, an olive branch to fellow contestants to join us in building the Lagos of our dreams.

“If they have the passion to serve, we can work together because there is room for everyone to contribute meaningfully to the Lagos we all desire to see.”

Reacting, Mr Olagbade Benson, Senior counsel to the Labour Party (LP) candidate,  said  the tribunal in his wisdom had delivered the judgment to the best of their knowledge.

He advised all members of the party to stay calm and respect the rule of law.

“The tribunal has done their part and we cannot ask for more. Therefore, we encourage every member of the Labour Party and all Obidients to stay calm and obey the rule of law. ”

The tribunal chairman, Justice Arum Ashom in his lead Judgment had dismissed the petition filed by  Rhodes-Vivour on grounds that it lacked merit.

On the oath of allegiance to the United States of America by the deputy governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat,  the tribunal held that being a citizen of Nigeria by birth, his oath of allegiance to United State does not prevent him from contesting election.

The tribunal, therefore, affirmed the declaration of INEC of the election of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat as the governor and deputy governor duly elected.

On his part, reacting to the judgment, Mr Austin Akpomreta, defense counsel to the  PDP governorship candidate  explained that the next line of action would be taken after reviewing the judgment with his client.

The election petition tribunal had also declared as dead on arrival, a petition of Adediran against Sanwo-Olu’s election.

The tribunal held that evidence before it showed that the petition lacked merit.

Adediran had contended that Sanwo-Olu was wrongfully nominated and sponsored by the APC and, therefore, was not qualified for the election.

However, Justice Mikail Abdullahi, while reading the tribunal’s decision on the matter, held that the position did not form part of the grounds for disqualification for election into the office of a governor, under Sections 177 and 182 of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended).

The tribunal also declared that it had no powers to inquire into the primary election of the APC which produced Sanwo-Olu, adding that the issue was a pre-election matter which did not fall under its jurisdiction. 

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