Lagos 2023: Governorship Election Tribunal Begins Trial Of JANDOR/PDP Petitions Against APC/LP June 19

In the aftermath of APC/LP’s failure to have JANDOR/PDP’s petition struck out, the Lagos Governorship Election tribunal has approved Monday the 19th of June for JANDOR/PDP to commence arguments on her petitions that Governor Sanwo-Olu lied on oath in his Form EC9 for the 2023 election not to have ever presented a forged document to INEC.

However, JANDOR/PDP in their petition to the tribunal stated that Governor Sanwo-Olu who claimed under oath in his form EC9 for the 2023 election that he sat for WAEC in 1981, but refused to attach the said certificate as claimed, had in his 2019 Form CF001 presented a WAEC statement of result, allegedly verified from WAEC to be a forged document.

The petitioners also picked holes in the sponsorship of Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as running mate to Governor Sanwo-Olu in the 2023 election due to the non-submission of the declaration of oath page in his form EC9.

The declaration of oath page is the page that gives life to every candidate’s INEC form EC9, without which a nomination is considered null and void.

Another ground upon which JANDOR/PDP is requesting for the dis-qualification of the Sanwo-Olu/Hamzat ticket was based on section 84 of the electoral act which stipulates that; “Where a political party fails to comply with provisions of this Act in the conduct of its primaries, its candidate for election shall not be included in the election for the particular position in issue”.

Also, Page 5 of 2022 INEC guidelines on primary election stated that; “All political parties must notify the Commission in writing not later than 21 days from the date of the primaries, the specific location and venue, date and time for the conduct of its nomination of candidates into various elective positions. All such notices shall be submitted to the Headquarters of the Commission and signed by the National Chairman and the National Secretary of the political party. Notices of such party primaries shall be accompanied by the List of members of the election committee of the party conducting the primaries.

Meanwhile, according to the available document attached to JANDOR/PDP petition, all stated above, including a list of committees to conduct the Lagos APC Governorship primaries were signed by the Chairman of Lagos State APC, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi and addressed to the Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Lagos State, in a clear breach of the 2022 electoral act and the INEC guidelines for the conduct of the 2023 party primary elections.

On GRV/Labour party, JANDOR/PDP petitions have it that GRV as of June 18th, 2022 when he claimed to have joined the Labour Party under oath, wrote a letter of intent on the 19th June 2022, personally signed by himself to be Deputy Governorship candidate under PDP, and also attended the screening exercise for deputy Governorship hopeful at the PDP Headquarters on the 22 of June 2022.

JANDOR/PDP petition against Labour Party also referred to the infractions in the Form EC9 of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour which was signed and declared under oath on the 14th of July, 2022. Meanwhile, the purported substitution primaries that produced him was held on August 10th, 2022. This implied that he was already a candidate before the primary election that produced him as Candidate, as FORM EC9 is only released to party candidates after a duly conducted primary election. The petitioners also revealed in her petition that the substitution primary, aside from being conducted by the Lagos state chapter of the Labour Party which is also a breach of the electoral act, had statutory delegates voted in that election, a development that’s alien to the 2022 electoral act.

On this note, JANDOR/PDP is relying on section 136 sub-section 2 of the electoral act to be declared the winner of the March 18th Governorship election in Lagos state. The section stipulates as follows: “ Where an election tribunal or court nullifies an election on the ground that the person who obtained the highest votes at the election was not qualified to contest the election, the election tribunal or court shall declare the person with the second highest number of valid votes cast at the election who satisfies the requirements of the Constitution and this Act as duly elected, provided that the person with the second highest number of valid votes cast at the election remains a member of the political party on which platform he contested the election otherwise, the candidate with the next highest number of votes in the election and who satisfies the same conditions shall be declared the winner”.

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