Appeal court upholds Sanwo-Olu’s election


The Court of Appeal in Lagos has upheld the election of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as governor of Lagos state in the March 9th election.

Justice Hannatu Sankey, who read the lead judgement of the five-man panel of Justices of Appeal Court, dismissed an appeal filed by the Labour Party challenging the judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the election of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor of Lagos State.

According to a statement by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile, the appeal court, in a unanimous decision, held that the appeal lodged by Labour Party lacked merit.

Recall that the Labour Party and its governorship candidate, Mr Ifagbemi Awamaridi, had appealed the judgment of Election Petition Tribunal delivered on September 23, 2019, insisting that Governor Sanwo-Olu was not qualified to contest the election held in March 2019 and that the governor did not win the election.

Respondents were the Independent National Electoral Commission,  Sanwo-Olu, All Progressives Congress, INEC Residential Electoral Commissioner, the Returning Officer for the Lagos State Governorship Election, the State’s Commissioner of Police and the Nigerian Army.

Justice Hannatu Sankey held that the appellant (Labour Party) failed to produce any oral or documentary evidence through witnesses and other channels to establish the fact that Governor Sanwo-Olu was not qualified to contest the election and did not win the governorship election.

The Court further ruled that the petitioner went on a “Columbian Journey of making assertions with nothing to back it up,” and thereby dismissed the appeal in its entirety.

The Appellate Court also upheld the Tribunal’s decision that no proof of allegation of collusion and assault against officers of the Nigerian Army was provided by the appellants, adding that no sufficient fact was provided to substantiate allegation of electoral malpractices at the polling units against the respondents.

“The appeal is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed. I hereby uphold the judgment of the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal,” Justice Sankey held.

Recall that the Appeal Court also dismissed an appeal filed by Alliance for Democracy and its governorship candidate, Owolabi Salis to challenge Governor Sanwo-Olu’s electoral victory

Justice Ayobode Shodipe, who read the lead judgement, held that the appeal of AD lacked merit and was “Dead On Arrival.”

“The appeal is seriously lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed. The seven issues of the appellant (Salis) are hereby resolved against him,” Justice Shodipe ruled.

The Appellate Court has also ordered the appellants to award a cost of N200,000 to each six of the seven respondents (except the Commissioner of Police) in both appeals, bringing the total cost to N2.4million.


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