Election Tribunal Strikes Out Agbaje's Petition Against Ambode
SAN FRANCISCO, June 01, (THEWILL) – The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal Wednesday struck out a petition filed by Mr. Jimi Agbaje, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the April 11, 2015 election challenging the election of
Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode as Governor of Lagos State.
The three-member tribunal, chaired by Justice Muhammad Sirajo, upheld the submission of Ambode and APC that the petition was incompetent.
Justice Sirajo said: “In the instant petition, apart from an order nullifying the election of the second respondent, the petitioners did not ask for an order of fresh election.
“Where such a prayer is lacking, the petition will be incompetent and academic as even the resolution of such a petition will be incompetent and academic.
“Even the resolution of such a petition in favour of the petitioner will not confer any utilitarian value on the petitioner.
“Where no relief for fresh election is claimed in a petition, a ground founded on Section 138(1)(b) of the Electoral Act and the entire petition itself are incompetent and liable to be struck out.
“So, if for instance, the election is nullified, the people of Lagos State would be left in an anarchic situation as no order can validly be made for the conduct of a fresh election, same having been sought for.
“A petition that is founded on disqualification of a respondent and an order of nullification of the election must, of necessity, contain a prayer for an order of fresh election.
“It is for this reason that the grounds of the petition that survived up till this point can no longer be countenanced.
“In the circumstance, paragraph 13(b) and 19(8) of the petition and reliefs 19(5) and 19(8) are hereby struck out in view of the want of the reliefs seeking the conduct of fresh election.”
Agbaje had petitioned the tribunal challenging the outcome of the governorship election in the state, which Ambode won.
Agbaje alleged some irregularities in the election, which breached the provisions of INEC guidelines for the polls.