Jandor petitions tribunal over breach of electoral act, seeks disqualification of APC, LP candidates

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The Lagos State candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Dr Olajide Adediran, popularly called Jandor, has petitioned the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal of Lagos State, calling for the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Bababjide Sanwo-Olu, and the Labour Party, LP candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour in the March 18, 2023, election over alleged non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022.

In the petition marked: EPT/LAG/GOV/01/2023, and made available to newsmen on Monday, the petitioners; Adediran and the PDP are challenging the outcome of the March 18 governorship election on grounds of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Law as well as the guidelines of INEC.

While INEC, is the 1st respondent, Sanwo-Olu, his Deputy, Dr. Hamzat Obafemi, the APC, the LP candidate, Rhodes-Vivour, and LP, respectively are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th respondents.

Besides non-compliance with relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, Adediran and PDP in their petition are claiming that at the time of the governorship election held on March 18, 2023, Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat, and Rhodes-Vivour were not qualified to contest the election and therefore prayed that all votes cast for them in the election be declared wasted.

In the petition, Jandor maintained that the facts of the petition bother on four grounds of non-compliance warranting disqualification of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat declared as the winner of the election by INEC, as well as another four grounds of non-compliance warranting disqualification of Rhodes-Vivour who was declared to have scored the second-highest number of votes in the election.

According to the petitioner, “The first ground against the APC is the non-compliance with the INEC Time Table and Schedule of Activities for the 2023 General Election which stipulated that all political parties must give 21 days’ notice to INEC before the conduct of the primary election and such notice must emanate from the national office of the political party and signed by its National Chairman and National Secretary.

“Contrary to this provision, the Lagos state chapter of the APC through her letter dated 24th May 2022 notified the State Resident Electoral Commissioner of the party primary election held on 26th May 2022., with details of the venue of the said primary.

“The notification from the state chapter of APC was therefore invalid, null and void according to the Electoral Act 2022.

“The second ground bothers on the failure of the APC to comply with the requirement of the Electoral Act 2022 that every political party sponsoring a candidate in the general election shall submit the nomination form of such candidate(s) not later than 180days before the conduct of the general election in forms EC9.

“The third ground is on the omission of the Oath page in Form EC9 for the 3rd respondent, Dr. Hamzat Kadri Obafemi, the APC deputy governorship candidate which would have shown that it was not endorsed by the Commissioner for Oath within the time prescribed by the Electoral Law 2022 and without the oath page, the entire form EC9 and the information therein are worthless.

“Lastly, Sanwo-Olu failed to attach a copy of the GCE OLevel result he claimed to have sat for in 1981 along with his form EC9 as required by the Electoral Act 2022.”

“This development informed me and PDP applying for the CTC of Governor Sanwo-Olu 2019 from CF001. It was then discovered that a Statement of Result issued by Ijebu Ife Community Grammar School, Ijebu-Ife for May/June 1981 GCE O Level Examination with examination number 17624/118 which he (Sanwo-Olu) submitted for his first term election as governor of the state was not confirmed by WAEC.

“When I and PDP approached WAEC for confirmation, we were directed to purchase the scratch card for verification of WAEC result scratch card, which then confirmed the results as not emanating from WAEC, it came back to be a fake result.

“The disqualification of the governorship candidate of Rhodes-Vivour is also hinged on non-compliance of the LP with the requirement of the Electoral Law in the conduct of the primary election that produced the candidate.

“The notice of the primary election was issued by the state chapter of the party as against the provision that it must be issued and signed by the National Chairman and Secretary of the party.

“Also, the LP used Statutory Delegates who are members of the Lagos State EXCO/Caretaker Committee in the conduct of her substitution primary election on August 10, 2022 contrary to the provision of the Electoral Act 2022.”

The petition also established that Form EC9 for Rhodes-Vivour was signed under oath and submitted to INEC on the July 4, 2022, exactly 37 days before the holding of the substitution primary election of the 10 of August 2022 that produced him as the candidate of the LP. “This makes his nomination invalid.”

Furthermore, the petition stressed that Rhodes-Vivour was still a member of the PDP as of June 18, 2022 when he claimed, again under oath to having registered as a member of the LP.

“Documentary evidence and newspaper report establishing his participation in the screening exercise for the running mate to the governorship candidate of the Lagos PDP, Adediran on the 22nd of June 2022 was provided in the petition.

“In line with the provision of the Electoral Act, the candidate for the office of Governor of Lagos State is not allowed to be a member of more than one political party at the time of being sponsored as a candidate for the general election, therefore his nomination is invalid,” the petitioner maintained.

Adediran and Lagos PDP thus prayed the Election Petition Tribunal “to declare all the votes cast for APC and LP in the March 18, 2023 guber election as wasted votes since their candidates were not qualified to have participated in the election.

“And having scored the third-highest number of votes in the election and having satisfied the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, Adediran of the PDP is the validly qualified candidate to be returned as the winner of the said election.”

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