The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday described the confirmation of his victory at the polls as a welcome development which is a reaffirmation of the mandate given to him by the people of Lagos State.
In his reaction to the ruling of the State Election Petition Tribunal headed by Justice Mohammed Sirajo, the Governor said, “I am elated at the ruling of the tribunal which is an affirmation of my victory at the polls. On April 11, 2015, the people of Lagos spoke with their votes about continuity and that is what the tribunal has just reaffirmed”.
“The task ahead requires concerted efforts from everyone. I urge all my opponents to put the election struggles behind them and in the spirit of sportsmanship join hands with me to take Lagos to the next level”, the Governor said in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Habib Aruna.
The Governor said: “It was needless in the first place for the PDP to have petitioned my election which was adjudged to be free, fair and credible. Now that the right thing has been done which of course the people expected, we should all come together above partisanship and move the State forward”
The Tribunal had on Wednesday struck out the petition filed against the election of Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode of the APC by the PDP candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje following a preliminary objection filed by the counsel to the APC Candidate, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).
Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), had argued at the resumed hearing on Thursday, June 25, that the petition should be struck out for being incompetent and that there was no correlation between the reliefs sought by the petitioner and the particulars of application on one hand and the grounds for questioning the election of Mr. Ambode on the other hand.
“The grounds and particulars in the petition are at opposites with the facts and reliefs being sought within the purview of Section 285(2) of the 1999 Constitution. I urge my Lordships to dismiss the petition,” Chief Olanipekun had said.
He stated that there is nowhere in the pleadings where the petitioners attacked the victory of the respondents or questioned the conduct of the election, saying “I submit that there is no petition before your lordships known to law. There are no grounds challenging the election of my client under Section 138(b)(c) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended.”
According to him, the court cannot act on sentiment and sympathy of parties, emphasizing that sympathy does not override clear provisions of the law.