LAGOS; COURT OF APPEAL RESERVES JUDGEMENT OVER GOVERNOR BABAJIDE’S VICTORY.
Written by Tunde Adeyemi on November 8, 2023
The court of appeal Lagos division has reserved judgement in two separate appeals by the governorship candidates of the People’s Democratic party (PDP) Abdurasheed Olajide Adediran and Labour party’ Gbadebo- Rhodes Vivour challenging the victory of governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 18th 2023 governorship election in the state.
The three-man panel of justices led by justice Yargata Nimpar after taking arguments from parties moved for judgement at a yet to be announced next sitting.
The respondents in the appeal are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Babajide Sanwuolu and his deputy, Femi Hamzat and the All-Progressives Congress, APC.
Counsel for the Labour party, Olagbade Benson had urged the court to interpret section 182(1)(a) of the constitution and its implication to the qualification of 2nd and 3rd respondents in the appeal.
The Labour party governorship candidate had on October 7th 2023 filed 21 grounds of Notice of appeal challenging the decision of the state governorship tribunal which upheld the return of governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The appellant stated that the tribunal failed to disqualify Sanwuolu and his deputy having found out that his deputy, Hamzat is a naturalized United States of America citizen who made a declaration of allegiance to that country.
Benson argued that section 177 of the 1999 constitution states that only a Nigerian citizen by birth is qualified to contest for the office of governor and deputy governor of a state.
Wole Olanipekun, counsel for the 2nd and 3rd respondents had in his arguments urged the court to dismiss the appeal, adding that the dual citizenship argued by the appellant was never presented before the Tribunal.
The People’s Democratic Party in their submission before the appeal court had filed 34 grounds against the judgement of the tribunal.