Story Written By: Seun Opejobi

The Court of Appeal in Lagos on Tuesday ordered the continuation of the petitions challenging the victory of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the last gubernatorial election.
Alliance for Democracy, AD, governorship candidate in Lagos State, Chief Owolabi Salis, and his Labour Party, LP, counterpart, Ifagbemi Awamaridi, are challenging the victory of Sanwo-Olu at the March 9 gubernatorial election.

The Election Petition Tribunal, sitting in Ikeja, had in June dismissed a petition filed by the AD and LP challenging Sanwo-Olu’s victory.
The three-man tribunal had dismissed the petitions due to the inability of the petitioners to file applications for pre-hearing conference after the close of pleadings within seven days as prescribed by law.
Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Terhemen Asua had held that timely application for pre-hearing conference was a condition for the hearing of the petitions and without the application for pre-hearing conferences, the petition cannot begin or get to the stage of judgment.

He held that the inability to serve any of the respondents was not an excuse, hence the consequence of failure to apply timely for pre-hearing conference is dismissal of such a petition.
However, the Appeal Court, in a unanimous decision today, ordered the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to continue hearing of the petition.
“From the record, it is clear that the tribunal was wrong to have declared the petition as an abandoned petition.

“The case is to be remitted to the lower court for expeditious hearing of the matter,” the court held.
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Related Topics:Appeal Courtlagos guberSanwo-Olu

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