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APPEAL COURT UPHOLDS SANWO-OLU’S ELECTION

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Congratulates

…Dismisses LP, AD’s Appeals For Lacking In Merit

…Court Describes Appeal As “Dead on Arrival”

The Court of Appeal in Lagos on Saturday dismissed an appeal filed by Labour Party (LP) challenging the judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which affirmed the election of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the Governor of Lagos State.

The Appellate Court, in a unanimous decision, held that the appeal lodged by Labour Party lacked merit and “sank never to rise again, even on appeal.”

Labour Party and its governorship candidate, Mr Ifagbemi Awamaridi, had appealed the judgment of Election Petition Tribunal delivered on September 23, 2019, insisting that Governor Sanwo-Olu was not qualified to contest the election held in March 2019, and that the Governor did not win the election.

The respondents are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Governor Sanwo-Olu, All Progressives Congress (APC), INEC Residential Electoral Commissioner, the Returning Officer for the Lagos State Governorship Election, the State’s Commissioner of Police and the Nigerian Army.

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But Justice Hannatu Sankey, who read the lead judgement of the five-man panel of Justices of Appeal Court, specifically affirmed the decisions reached by the Governorship Tribunal.

According to the Court, the appellant (Labour Party) failed to produce any oral or documentary evidence through witnesses and other channels to establish the fact that Governor Sanwo-Olu was not qualified to contest the election, or did not win the Governorship election.

The Court further ruled that the petitioner went on a “Columbian Journey of making assertions with nothing to back it up,” and thereby dismissed the appeal in its entirety.

The Appellate Court also upheld the Tribunal’s decision that no proof of allegation of collusion and assault against officers of the Nigerian Army was provided by the appellants, adding that no sufficient fact was provided to substantiate allegation of electoral malpractices at the polling units against the respondents.

“The appeal is lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed. I hereby uphold the judgment of the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal,” Justice Sankey held.

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All the other four Justices of the Court affirmed and concurred with the lead judgement.

In a related development, the Appeal Court also dismissed an appeal filed by Alliance for Democracy (AD) and its governorship candidate, Owolabi Salis to challenge Governor Sanwo-Olu’s electoral victory.

In a unanimous decision, Justice Ayobode Shodipe, who read the lead judgement, held that the appeal of AD lacked merit and was “Dead On Arrival.”

“The appeal is seriously lacking in merit and is hereby dismissed. The seven issues of the appellant (Salis) are hereby resolved against him,” Justice Shodipe ruled.

Besides, the Appellate Court ordered that a cost of N200,000 should be awarded against the appellants in favour of each six of the seven respondents (except the Commissioner of Police) in both appeals, bringing the total cost to N2.4million.

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SECURITY: SANWO-OLU WELCOMES OPERATION CROCODILE SMILE IV IN LAGOS

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L-R: General Officer Commanding (GOC) 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General John Irefin, presenting a souvenir to the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat during the Nigerian Army 81 Division flag off exercise of "Crocodile Smile IV, at Takwa Bay, Victoria Island, on Tuesday, November 19, 2019.

…Assures Military Of Support

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday welcomed Operation Crocodile Smile IV by the Nigerian Army, saying the exercise is a right move towards ensuring peace and security in the South West and South South regions during the festive season.

The Governor assured the Nigerian Army of his administration’s continued support as it engages in intensive security duties in the state while also urging citizens to be security conscious.

Sanwo-Olu stated this during the flag-off ceremony of the Nigeria Army’s 81 Division Exercise Crocodile Smile IV for Lagos and Ogun States held at Takwa Bay, Lagos.

The Governor who was represented at the ceremony by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, commended the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai for his thoughtfulness and strategic foresight, which brought about the idea of the exercise.

The Governor said: “from antecedents, the security issues prevalent in the yuletide are not lost on any of us as men of the underworld tend to perpetrate criminal acts during this period,” adding that Exercise Crocodile Smile IV is a welcome development that promises to ensure that these black heads of the society have no safe haven within the period.

‘‘We cannot thank you enough for your efforts and sacrifices”, Sanwo-Olu commended the army for their resilience and determination towards providing security in Lagos State and other states across the country including the federal capital territory.’’ he said.

While seeking the support for security operatives, the governor urged citizens to be security conscious and remain vigilant by being alive to activities in their environment.

He also advised residents to “see something and say something. The Police and other security personnel are not magicians and they don’t look at oracle, they listen to information. It is for all of us to conduct ourselves and just be our neighbours’ keeper.’’ Sanwo-Olu stated.

He further affirmed that beaches around Lagos, which are a beehive of activities, will remain safe with such security activities as the one planned and executed by the Nigerian army.

In his remarks, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Buratai who was represented by the General Officer, Commanding 81 Division, Nigerian Army, Major-General John Irefin disclosed that the Exercise Crocodile Smile IV was part of the Nigerian Army’s continuous commitment to combating security challenges in the country such as illegal oil bunkering activities, militancy, kidnapping, pipeline vandalism; cultism and some other common sundry crime.

He added that the objectives of the operation are to reduce to the barest minimum the prevailing security threat in the riverine environment and sharpen the professional skills of security personnel that are involved in the exercise.

Buratai noted that the exercise would be intelligence-driven and will portray real time operation at any moment a potent threat is encountered

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Breaking: INEC Declares Yahaya Bello Kogi Governor-elect

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Loss

The incubent governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello, has been declared winner of the Saturday, November 16 gubernatorial election.

The  Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), declared the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate winner of the election and Governor-elect on Monday.

Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Umar, INEC’s returning officer for the election announced the result.

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According to Umar, Bello polled a total of 406,222 votes to defeat his major rival, Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who scored 189,704 votes to emerge second.

Dino Melaye, a former federal lawmaker, also rejected the results of the Kogi West Senatorial District rerun polls released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, November 17.

 

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Kogi Election: Results Will Be Announced Today-INEC

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Kogi election

Results of the Kogi State governorship election held on Saturday, November 16 will be announced today.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC),  had earlier  postponed the announcement of the result late Sunday, November 17.

The Returning Officer for the election, Professor Ibrahim Umar who is the Vice-Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Kaduna state, told party agents and other political stakeholders at INEC headquarters, venue of the announcement in Lokoja, the state capital, that the collation will continue at 9 am on Monday, November 18. Legit.ng reports that at the time of the suspension of the collation on Sunday, only five local governments were yet to be announced. Results from a total of 16 LGs had already been declared.

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Meanwhile, reports of alleged vote-buying and high level of violence are said to have trailed the Kogi state election with civil society such as the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room calling for the total cancellation of the exercise.

In a statement, the Situation Room, stated that the Kogi election represents a major dent to Nigeria’s democracy.

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The Situation Room is a coalition of prominent civic groups and one of the accredited observers for the election.

Also, Dino Melaye, a former federal lawmaker, also rejected the results of the Kogi West Senatorial District rerun polls released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, November 17.

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