…By Larry John for TDPel Media.
The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has dismissed the petitions filed by the Allied Peoples’ Movement (APM) and Action Peoples Party (APP) against the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat.
The Chairman of the three-man Tribunal, Justice Arum Ashom, threw out the petitions after the parties themselves withdrew the cases.
During the court proceedings, the petitioners’ lawyers, Henry Bello representing the APM and Francis Ese for the APP, stated that their clients had lost interest in pursuing the petitions.
Bello, the lawyer for APM, presented a motion for withdrawal supported by two affidavits, explaining that their candidate had conceded and congratulated the second respondent.
The APP’s counsel also informed the Tribunal that they had received a directive from the party’s Chairman to withdraw the petition.
The lawyers representing the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the All Progressives Congress (APC), John Baiyeshe and Abiodun Owonikoko respectively, did not object to the application.
Similarly, the lawyers for Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat, Ayuba Kaw, did not oppose the withdrawal.
In the ruling, Justice Ashom stated that the petitioners had effectively withdrawn their petitions, as the respondents had filed an affidavit of non-collusion and did not object to the withdrawal.
Considering the stage of the petition and the closure of pleadings, the Tribunal ordered the dismissal of the petitions.
During the election, Sanwo-Olu received 762,134 votes, defeating his closest rival, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party, who scored 312,329 votes.
The PDP’s Jide Adediran came third with 62,449 votes.
The candidates of APM and APP, Funmilayo Kupoluyi and Abiola Adeyemi, respectively, received much lower vote counts, according to the results announced by INEC.
The APM and APP had argued in their separate petitions that Sanwo-Olu and his deputy were not qualified to contest the election and that INEC had failed to comply with the provisions of the Electoral Act and the 1999 Constitution.
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