The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has submitted a petition before the governorship election tribunal of Lagos, challenging the outcome of the state guber election.
Abdul-Azeez Adediran, the PDP governorship candidate, said he is calling for the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) candidates in the election for “non-compliance” with the Electoral Act 2022 as well as the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the petition marked EPT/LAG/GOV/01/2023 dated April 7, the petitioners said APC did not comply with the INEC timetable 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.
While INEC is the first respondent, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy governorship candidate; APC; Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, LP governorship candidate, and the LP respectively are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th respondents.
Besides the allegation of non-compliance with relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, Adediran added that at the time of the governorship election, Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat, and Rhodes-Vivour were not qualified to contest the election.
Adediran asked that all votes cast for them in the election be declared wasted.
“The 2nd and 3rd respondents, although not duly sponsored and not qualified, contested along with the 1st petitioner and others for the office of governor of Lagos state, the subject matter of this petition,” the petition reads.
“Similarly, the 5th and 6th respondents, although not duly sponsored and not qualified, contested along with the 1th petitioner and others for the office of governor of Lagos state, the subject matter of this petition.
“The 1st respondent, upon the conclusion of the election, declared the 2nd respondent who was not properly sponsored by the 4th respondent as the winner of the election to the office of governor of Lagos state.
“The 5th respondent who was similarly not properly sponsored by the 6th respondent, was declared by the 1st respondent as having scored the second highest number of votes at the election to the office of governor of Lagos state.”
According to the petition, the APC also failed to comply with the requirement of the Electoral Act 2022 which states that every political party sponsoring a candidate in the general election shall submit the nomination form of such candidate(s) not later than 180 days before the conduct of the general election in forms EC9.
Adediran and the PDP added that Sanwo-Olu failed to attach a copy of the GCE O’Level result he claimed to have sat for in 1981 along with his form EC9 as required by the Electoral Act 2022.
“This development sparked a curiosity, with Adediran and PDP applying for the CTC of Sanwo-Olu 2019 from CF001,” the petition reads.
“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 submitted for his first term election as governor of the state was not confirmed by WAEC.
“When JANDOR and PDP approached WAEC for confirmation, they 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 petitioners also hinged the disqualification of LP’s Rhodes-Vivour on alleged non-compliance of the party with the requirements of the Electoral Act in the conduct of the primary election that produced the candidate.
Adediran said Rhodes-Vivour was still a member of the PDP as of June 18, 2022 when he claimed 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, Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran (JANDOR), on the June 22, 2022 was provided in the petition,” the document reads.
“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.”
Sanwo-Olu polled 762,134 votes to defeat Rhodes-Vivour, his closest rival who scored 312,329 votes in the election.
Adediran garnered 62,449 votes to come third in the poll.
The LP candidate had, however, rejected the results.