People Democratic Party Candidate For The Lagos-West Senatorial Election, Mr Segun Adewale, Asks National And State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal Sitting In Ikeja To Nullify The Election That Resulted In The Declaration Of Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola Of The All Progressives Congress As Winner Of The March 28, 2015 Election.
The People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the Lagos-West Senatorial election, Mr Segun Adewale, yesterday asked the National and State Assembly Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja to nullify the election that resulted in the declaration of Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the March 28, 2015 election. In his petition before the tribunal, presided over by Justice Sylvanus Orji, Adewale brought allegations respecting irregularities in the conduct of the election, adding that the results submitted by the wards did not correspond with records from the card readers.
He also alleged that election did not hold in some wards, among other irregularities. However, moving a preliminary objection, counsel for the APC, Dr. Muiz Banire, contended that the petitioner does not have the locus standi to institute the action. Banire argued that the petitioner did not specify the law under which he brought the petition and also failed to state the scores of the candidates. “By the provisions of Electoral Act, the petitioner is expected to specify the scores of all the candidates in the election.
He only specified his own score and that of APC candidate which is respondent,” he submitted. Banire cited the case of Ikeh V. Njoke 9 NWLR Pt 59A at page 263 and emphasized that Adewale’s failure to do as statutorily required eroded the validity of the process, adding that where such happens, the petition becomes incompetent, urging the court to therefore discountenance it. Moving a similar preliminary objection, Iyayi through his counsel urged the court to dismiss the petition on the ground that it lacked merit.
Iyayi contended that there was a material contradiction with the petitioner’s prayer asking the court to declare him as winner whereas he claimed that the election was marred by irregularities. He further contended that it was wrong for Adewale to ask the court to declare him winner in an election he claimed was marred. On his eligibility to contest the election, Iyayi argued that his eligibility to contest an election is a pre-election matter and does not fall within the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
Counsel to the Independent National Electoral Commission (IINEC), Kunle Abass, also aligned himself with the arguments of APC and Iyayi who are the other respondents in the matter, and stated that the petition is fundamentally defective, as the list of witnesses and other accompanying document were not properly signed. Abass thus urged the court to strike out the petition on that basis arguing that the defect is a fundamental one and not a technical matter. Responding separately to the three submissions, Adewale’s counsel, Dr. Oke insisted that the petition was properly brought before the court with clear demands.