It is not yet Uhuru for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as their major opponents in the 2023 governorship election have resolved to proceed to the apex Court to overturn their victory at the polls. Both candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Olajide Adediran also known as Jandor
It is not yet Uhuru for Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat as their major opponents in the 2023 governorship election have resolved to proceed to the apex Court to overturn their victory at the polls.
Both candidates of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Olajide Adediran also known as Jandor and his counterpart in the Labour Party Gbadebo Rhode-Vivour popularly known as GRV, want a disqualification of the ticket of Sanwo-Olu and Obafemi Hamzat for different reasons.
The two candidates have faulted the outcome of the governorship election in which the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Mr Sanwo-Olu the winner of the poll, on the grounds of qualification. Their petitions failed both at the Tribunal and the Court of Appeal.
Mr Adediran, who came a distant third behind the candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour who came second while Sanwo-Olu demanded the nullification of the election on the grounds Mr Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Obafemi Hamzat were not qualified to contest in the polls.
He prayed the tribunal to declare him the winner of the election, adding that the INEC failed to comply with the Electoral Act in the conduct of the poll. He also alleged that the poll was marred by discrepancies.
But the court ruled against the PDP candidate, on the basis that there was no sufficient evidence to upturn the outcome of the election. Not pleased with the verdict of the tribunal, Mr. Adediran approached the Court of Appeal, filing 34 grounds of appeal to challenge the judgment of the tribunal.
Again, the appeal court ruled upholding the verdict of the tribunal and also maintaining that the appellant failed to provide enough evidence against the defendant.
Despite the judgement of the appeal court, Mr. Adediran has insisted on taking his case to the apex court to challenge the ruling of the lower courts. Speaking with journalists earlier on Monday, Hakeem Amode, the Lagos PDP Publicity Secretary revealed that after reviewing the outcome of the judgement of the appeal court, their candidate has decided to have his day at the Supreme Court.
According to him, the appeal court has failed to grant the deserved justice to the PDP’s governorship candidate, Olajide Adediran’s petitions against Mr Sanwo-Olu’s victory, indicating that rulings from the appellate court were not consistent, and as a result, they would look at the Supreme Court for the final verdict.
“We are challenging the ruling of the Appeal Court, affirming Sanwo-Olu as winner at the Supreme Court. In a couple of days, our petitions will get to the Supreme Court,” Mr Amode said.
“Looking at some of the Appeal Court’s rulings, there have been so many inconsistencies in its stands on pre-election matters. We, as a party, feel justice is yet to be served in our petitions against the outcome of the March 18 governorship election in this state. We have a strong belief in the Supreme Court to look at the crux of the matter and make a statement that will serve as precedent.
“The party and our candidate are not deterred, we have reviewed the 15 November Appeal Court’s ruling and decided to pursue justice at the Supreme Court,” Mr Amode said.
In the same vein, the candidate of the Labour Party Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour has also declared his intention to challenge the ruling of the appeal court as he seeks the disqualification of the APC candidate, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Obafemi Hamzat.
The Labour Party candidate is seeking the disqualification of the APC candidates on the ground that the deputy governor of the state, Obafemi Hamzat has sworn an oath of allegiance to the United States of America, and as a result, his dual citizenship should call for his disqualification, an outcome which would lead to the nullification of their victory in the polls.
Speaking on Arise Television at the weekend, Mr. Rhodes-Vivour insisted on taking the matter to the apex court despite the unfavourable verdicts given by both the electoral tribunal and the court of appeal. He explained that it is within the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to explain and give a verdict on the section of the Constitution that supports his claim.
“I am currently in court, and we are finalising our notice of appeal to the Supreme, our case is extremely simple, a situation where the Constitution protects people that were born and are dual citizens but the spirit of the Constitution is to ensure that so fidelity is to the state.
“When you are of a certain age, if you go and swear an oath of allegiance, the Constitution frowns at it. We are trying to set a locus classicus because this has not come before the Supreme Court ever, for the Supreme Court to explain to us the Constitution of that section 182 and explain to us when they say a person swears an oath of allegiance, that person is disqualified, what did the Constitution mean, so we are pushing on that to the Supreme Court this week”, he said.
Meanwhile, an appeal to the Supreme Court is expected to be filed within 14 days from the date of the judgement of the Court of Appeal, in which the Supreme Court is given the prerogative to hear the case within 60 and make its ruling.