The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for governor in Lagos State, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, also known as Jandor, has dragged Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party (LP) and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the electoral tribunal.
Recall that Sanwo-Olu, the winner of the state’s governorship election, and Rhodes-Vivour, who came in second, were both challenged by Jandor, who accused both of breaking some rules of the Electoral Act 2022 as amended.
It was gathered that in a petition marked EPT/LAG/GOV/01/2023, dated 7th April 2023, filed at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Lagos State, the petitioners, Jandor and the PDP, are challenging the outcome of the March 18 governorship election on grounds of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Law as the INEC guidelines.
The petitioners are asking that the state’s candidates for the APC and Labour Parties be disqualified from standing in the elections as a result.
The All Progressive Congress (APC), the Labour Party’s Rhodes-Vivour, and the INEC are named as the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth respondents, respectively. Governor Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Hamzat Kadri Obafemi, are mentioned as the fourth and fifth respondents.
In addition to breaking the relevant rules of the Electoral Act 2022, the petitioners are asserting in their petition—and in a statement provided to the media by their spokesperson, Hon. Hakeem Amode—that Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat, and Rhodes-Vivour were ineligible to run for governor on March 18, 2023. As a result, they requested that the Tribunal declare all votes cast for them in the election invalid.
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 Headquarters of the political party and signed by its National Chairman and National Secretary respectively.
According to the suit, contrary to this requirement, it was the Lagos State chapter of the APC through its letter dated 24th May 2022 that alerted the State Resident
Electoral Commissioner (REC) of the party primary election held on May 26, 2022, together with information on the primary’s location, declared that the state chapter of the APC’s notification was invalid, null, and void in accordance with the Electoral Act of 2022.