Supreme Court Affirms Sanwo-Olu, Mohammed as Governors

January 12, 2024
Sanwo-Olu economic necessity

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Supreme Court has affirmed the election of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as Governor of Lagos State.

The five-member panel in a unanimous judgment delivered by Justices Lawal Garba and Adamu Jauro, affirmed the declaration of the APC’s candidate as the winner of the March 18, 2023 governorship election, after dismissing two separate appeals challenging his victory.

Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party (LP), who came second and Mr Abdulazeez Adediran popularly known as Jandor of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who came third, had challenged the election of Mr Sanwo-Olu on grounds of alleged irregularities, malpractices non-compliance as well as non-qualification.

They had specifically argued that the Deputy Governor, who acquired citizenship of the United States of America, is not qualified to contest an elective position and as such his nomination as deputy Governor was unlawful null and void.

They also argued that his alleged unlawful nomination affects the qualification of Sanwo-Olu, hence the court should nullify their participation in the governorship election.

However, both the tribunal and the Court of Appeal in their respective decisions dismissed the two appeals for failure to prove allegations made in their petitions.

The apex court in its judgement, held that it has found no cogent reason to deviate from the concurrent judgments of the tribunal and Court of Appeal which held that Sanwo-Olu was lawfully elected as Governor of Lagos State.

The appellate court in a unanimous judgement held that the acquisition of a foreign national those not bar any citizen by birth from contesting election.

Justice Lawal stated that the only condition a citizen with dual citizenship can lose his right to be elected as governor is when he denounces his Nigerian citizenship by birth.

The apex court subsequently dismissed the two appeals for lack of merit.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the APC had polled 762,134 votes to defeat his closest challenger, Mr Rhodes-Vivour, who scored 312,329 votes, with Jandor coming a distant third with 62,449 votes at the March 18 poll.

The Supreme Court also affirmed the election of Mr Bala Mohammed of the PDP as the Bauchi State governor.

The apex court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeal and dismissed the appeal by Mr Sadique Abubakar of the APC for lacking merit.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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