Court Dismisses Petition Challenging Sanwo-Olu’s Victory
The Lagos State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal has rejected the petitions submitted by the All People’s Party and the Allied Peoples Movement, which sought to challenge Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s victory in the March 18 governorship election in Lagos State.
News About Nigeria reports that Justice Arum Ashom, the Chairman of the three-member tribunal, dismissed the petition on Wednesday after the parties decided to withdraw their petitions.
Henry Bello and Francis Ese, counsels for the two parties, informed the tribunal that their clients had chosen to withdraw the petitions.
The Independent National Electoral Commission and All Progressives Congress were also named as respondents in the two petitions.
In their respective petitions, the parties presented separate arguments claiming that both Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, were ineligible to participate in the election.
They further asserted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had not adhered to the requirements stated in the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution.
During the proceedings, Bello, the lawyer for APM, stated that the motion for withdrawal was based on four grounds and was supported by two affidavits sworn by Yusuf Mamman Dantalle, the party’s National Chairman.
He expressed, “Our candidate has lost motivation in pursuing the petition and has taken the step to extend congratulations to the second respondent. We kindly request the tribunal to dismiss this application.”
Similarly, the counsel for APP informed the tribunal that he had been directed by the party’s chairman, Okey Nwosu, to withdraw the petition.
John Baiyeshe (SAN), counsel for INEC, did not oppose the motion but requested the court to dismiss it instead of striking it out because the parties had already entered into a legal dispute.
Ayuba Kawu, the counsel for Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat, as well as Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), representing the APC, also did not object to the motions for withdrawal.
In the ruling, Justice Ashom stated, “The essence of what the petitioners have stated is that the petition is being withdrawn. The respondents have submitted an affidavit of non-opposition. Considering the stage of the petition and that the pleadings have been closed, we order the dismissal of the petitions.”