The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition sitting in Ikeja has described candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the March 18 election, Olajide Adediran popularly known as Jandor, as “busybody”.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All-Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the election.
Dissatisfied, Jandor and Labour Party’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vovour had headed for the tribunal.
While ruling on the petition of Jandor that Sanwo-Olu was not qualified to contest the election because he was improperly nominated and supported by his party, the tribunal held that it could not decide on that.
Justice Mikail Abdullahi, who read the judgment on behalf of the panel said the petition did not fall under the provisions of sections 177 and 182 of the Nigerian Constitution (as amended).
He also declared that the tribunal did not have powers to inquire into the primary election of the APC which produced Sanwo-Olu because pre-election matter did not fall under its jurisdiction.
“Only an aspirant or member of a political party can complain about the outcome of the party’s primary, not a busybody like the petitioner,” he held.
The tribunal first focused on the preliminary objections filed by the parties before passing judgement on Jandor’s petition.
Earlier, the tribunal struck out the names of the Labour Party and its candidate among the list of respondents, saying a petition is contemplated to be filed between the winner and the loser of an election and not between two persons who lost.
As a result of this, the tribunal upheld the preliminary objection and later removed Rhodes-Vivour as the fifth respondent from Jandor’s petition.
The tribunal also deleted all of the exhibits that Rhodes-Vivour had submitted as proof in Jandor’s plea.
The tribunal also ruled that Rhodes-Vivour could not challenge any aspect of the Jandor’s petition judgement going forward, or else he would be seen as an intrusive outsider.
“The 6th respondent filed an application that it cannot he joined in the petitioner’s petition on some grounds but the ruling on the motion filed on the petition was reserved till the day of the Judgement.”
The tribunal held, “That the 5th & 6th respondent ought not have been made respondents to the petition cannot rob the tribunal of the jurisdiction to hear the parties.
The question of misjoinder cannot lead to a striking out of the petition as the proper order to make is to strike out the names of the parties.
“Already the name of the 5th respondent has been struck out and the 6th respondent who has been found to be improperly joined is also ordered to be struck out.”