Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
The legal battle over the Lagos State governorship election has taken a different twist as the Peoples Democratic Party and its 2023 governorship candidate, Abdul-Azeez Adeniran (Jandor), have filed a petition at the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, seeking the nullification of the election of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, accusing him of possessing fake West African Examination Council, WAEC, result.
“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 the WAEC result scratch card, which then confirmed the results as not emanating from WAEC; it came back to be a fake result,” the PDP stated in its petition, the petitioners alleged.
Similarly, the petitioners also demanded the disqualification of the APC governorship running mate, Obafemi Hamzat.
They also joined the Labour Party and its governorship flag bearer, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour in the petition.
They accused the LP candidate of dual-party membership as at the time he sought election into the office.
The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, was listed among the respondents.
Recall that INEC had declared Sanwo-Olu the winner of the election polling 762,134 votes, to defeat Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party who scored 312,329 votes.
Abdul-Azeez Adediran of the PDP came third according to INEC with 62,449 votes.
The petitioners argued that the outcome of the March 18 governorship election was a charade, alleging substantial non-compliance with the new Electoral Act and INEC guidelines.
They accused INEC of violating its own guidelines, insisting that the outcome of the election was manipulated in favour of the APC candidate.
In the petition marked EPT/LAG/GOV/01/2023 and dated April 7, the PDP argued that as at the time of the election, the 2nd, 3rd and 5th respondents were not qualified to stand as candidates and should therefore be disqualified.
It read in part: “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.
“Similarly, the 5th and 6th 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 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.
“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,” it declared.
The petitioners accused the LP candidate of being a member of the PDP before picking the Labour Party governorship forms.