Lagos Governorship Poll: Tribunal Dismisses Petition Challenging Sanwo-Olu

The Lagos State Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Ikeja on Monday dismissed a petition filed by the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and the Labour Party (LP), challenging the victory of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the governorship election held on March 9 this year.

The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice T. T. Asua, in a ruling, dismissed the petitions, due to the inability of the petitioners to file applications for pre-hearing conference after the close of pleadings within seven days as prescribed by law.

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The three-man panel noted that timely application for pre-hearing conference was a condition for the hearing of the petitions and that without the application for pre-hearing conferences, the petition cannot commence or get to the stage of judgment.

According to the panel, Section 285(4) of the Fourth Alteration to the 1999 Constitution was inapplicable because the timely application for pre-hearing conferences was a precondition in election petition matters.

Dismissing the petitions, Asua said that inability to serve any of the respondents was not an excuse and that the consequence of failure to apply timely for pre-hearing conference was dismissal of such a petition.

Following the pronouncement, Bola Aidi, the Counsel to AD and LP thanked the tribunal for a well-considered ruling

The gubernatorial candidate of AD, Owolabi Salis and LP alongside Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi, the party’s gubernatorial candidate had in their petitions challenged Sanwo-Olu’s victory on the grounds that he is not competent to run as a gubernatorial candidate in the election.

The petitioners claimed that the March 9 polls was marred by violence, voting irregularities and that Sanwo-Olu cannot vote or be voted for as he has no valid voter’s card.