The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos, on Saturday, confirmed the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos state.
The News Agency of Nigerian (NAN) reports that five-man panel, in two separate trials, confirmed Sanwo-Olu’s victory in the March 9 poll and rejected the appeal of the governorship candidates of Labour Party (LP) and Alliance for Democracy (AD).
The two sides and their candidates appealed against the decision of the Court of Petitions in the Lagos state elections on September 23, which confirmed the victory of Sanwo-Olu.
The appellate court in both judgments confirmed the Petition Court of Election’s decision that the appellants failed to show that Sanwo-Olu was not competent to challenge the governor’s investigation of 9 March because of his alleged mental incompetence.
He noted that the Electoral Court had observed that no evidence had been presented before him, including the publication in the newspaper that proved Sanwo-Olu’s alleged mental incompetence.
The appeals court upheld the court’s decision that the plaintiffs provided no evidence of allegations of collusion and aggression against Nigerian army officers.
It confirms the court’s decision on electoral petitions that the applicants have not provided sufficient evidence of electoral misconduct in electoral units against respondents.
The appellate court ordered that a cost of N200,000 be awarded against the appellants in favour of six of the seven respondents (except for the Commissioner of Police) in both appeals. The costs will be a total of N2.4million.
Reading the lead judgment on behalf of the five-man panel in the appeal by the LP, Justice Hannatu Sankey said the appeal was lacking in merit and hence dismissed.
“I hereby uphold the judgment of the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal,” she said.
Reacting, Mr Bola Aidi, counsel to the appellants said he was grateful for the judgment.
“I am grateful for the judgment and I thank my lord for the expeditious hearing of the case,” he said.
Mr Victor Okpara, counsel to Sanwo-Olu and the APC also thanked the bench for the judgment.
“I want to thank the bench for the well considered judgment. It was faultless and flawless,” he said.
Reading the lead judgment on behalf of the five-man panel in the appeal by the AD, Justice Ayobode Shodipe said the appeal was lacking in merit hence dismissed.
“The seven issues of the appellant are hereby resolved against him,” he said.
Aidi, counsel to AD said “once again we want to show appreciation for the judgment.”
Mr K.O Shobayo and Mr J. J Ogunyemi, counsels to Sanwo-Olu and APC in their reaction, thanked the court for the ruling, NAN reports.