The move by the Lagos Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the March 18 governorship election, Abdul-Azeez Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, in submitting a petition before the state’s election tribunal, challenging the outcome of the poll is causing tension in Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s camp.
Adediran, has made presentations to the tribunal which his supporters hope would upturn the election results. Among his demands is the call for the disqualification of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Labour Party (LP) candidates in the election for “non-compliance” with the Electoral Act 2022 as well as the guidelines of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
In the petition marked EPT/LAG/GOV/01/2023 dated April 7, Adediran and the PDP, the petitioners, alleged that APC did not comply with the INEC timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general election which stipulated that all political parties must give 21 days’ notice to INEC before the conduct of the primary election.
While INEC is the first respondent, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy governorship candidate; APC; Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, LP governorship candidate, and the LP respectively are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th respondents.
Besides the allegation of non-compliance with relevant provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, Adediran added that at the time of the governorship election, Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat, and Rhodes-Vivour were not qualified to contest the election.
He asked that all votes cast for them in the election be declared wasted.
According to the petition, the APC also failed to comply with the requirement of the Electoral Act 2022 which states that every political party sponsoring a candidate in the general election shall submit the nomination form of such candidate(s) not later than 180 days before the conduct of the general election in forms EC9.
Adediran and the PDP added that Sanwo-Olu failed to attach a copy of the GCE O’Level result he claimed to have sat for in 1981 along with his form EC9 as required by the Electoral Act 2022 among other allegations.
However, Governor Sanwoolu 2019 form CF001, received from INEC and attached as exhibit to Jandor and PDP petition to the tribunal, revealed an attachment of a purported 1981 statement of WAEC result from Ijebu Ife community grammar school with examination number 17624/118. According to the PDP candidate, WAEC response on the Verification of this result via WAEC Direct Result Verification Portal indicated a non-existence of the Candidate name in the specified year and Exam diet.
Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour who’s the candidate of Labour Party, according to the evidence attached to Jandor and PDP’s petition to the tribunal, claimed under oath to have joined the Labour Party on the 18th of June, 2022, meanwhile an application letter personally signed by him to be the PDP deputy governorship candidate for the same 2023 was dated 19th June, 2022. A day after he claimed under oath to have joined the Labour Party. He also attended the screening exercise for PDP deputy Governorship Aspirants at the party National Secretariat in Abuja on the 22nd of June 2022, 4 days after he claimed under oath as seen in the evidence attached to Jandor’s petition to the tribunal.
Supporters of the PDP candidate maintain that with experienced Lawyers, he has a good case against the governor. Jandor came third in the election with 62,449 votes, behind Governor Sanwo-Olu and Rhodes-Vivour. Sanwo-Olu scored 762,134 votes to edge out the LP candidate who got 312,329 votes.
Before the elections, Jandor had expressed confidence in winning, irrespective of the antics of the ruling party or enemies within. He declared that no candidate including Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, had ever worked like he had done in the electioneering, going to meet people in various communities across the 245 wards in the state.
Bolstered by this and the reception he was getting from fans, he took the offensive. Addressing newsmen at his campaign office in Ikeja, the 45-year-old Adediran said he was in the race to win and bring in a breath of fresh air.
According to him, “We know they (APC) has been collecting Permanent Voter Cards, PVC, from the electorate to manipulate the polls’ result. But we are assuring them they will meet their waterloo this time”.
The weeks leading to the elections came with much turbulence for Jandor with allegations of rape, stepping down for other candidates. Also, his campaign DG who’s a personal assistant to Chief Bode George, left for LP, allegedly on the instruction of his boss. He also suffered backstabbing by trusted members of his party.
Jandor believed that the campaign of calumny and machinations were orchestrated by his opponents who were afraid of his profile and wanted to pull him down by all means.
Jandor however weathered storm, stressing that he ran the governorship campaign without any support from the PDP.
“We went into this election against all odds and even against some of our leaders within the PDP. Some respected leaders, supposedly, in the party had to leave us for crumbs.
“I didn’t get a single money from the party at the state or national level after February 25 presidential and National Assembly Elections.
“We stayed behind to see this to the last. Even when some left the party to form a false alliance, we stood our ground to see this to fruition”, he said.
Jandor, who hails from the Ojo/Badagry division, was seen by some as a better alternative to Sanwo-Olu who they accuse of not having a mind of his own.
Besides, his axis of the state was seen to have been marginalized all these years by the APC government. The PDP candidate thus pledged to work for its development, to erase years of neglect by successive administrations in Lagos.
He also made promises of carrying along all segments of the population of the state if voted to power. In his familiarisation tours across the state, Adediran urged the artisans and people living with disabilities to vote for his party at all levels, stressing that the ruling party and their candidates have failed Lagosians.
On the strength of his appeal, Barnabas Abiodun Raji, the leader of the People Living with Disabilities, and Kola Alatise, the chairman of Coalition of Artisans in Badagry, pledged the support of their members for Jandor and his running mate, Olufunke Akindele.
Also, Jandor in an interactive session with the league of Pastors in Igbede/Iyana axis of Ojo Council, said that the state needed a breath of fresh air that would make it work for all and sundry.
According to him, the Badagry Division, where Ojo LGA is also located, has suffered long neglect, hence the need to support him as an indigene of Ojo LGA, to change the story of the division for the better.
Promising free and compulsory education, security and massive infrastructural development, Adediran said that he would ensure that the wealth of the state worked for the residents, especially the masses.
While at the palace of the Royal Majesty, Elekunpa of Ekunpa Kingdom, Oba Abu Kazeem Kosoko in Ojo Council, Jandor promised never to let the traditional institutions down.
He told the Oba that he would run a government of the masses that everyone would be proud of.
His running mate Funke Akindele also helped to enhance the marketability of Jandor to the people especially the women. Akindele said that their administration would give women opportunities and ensure total inclusiveness.
Akindele said that Jandor would implement 35 per cent affirmative action for women if elected.
Also speaking during a visit to a coalition of artisans and physically challenged people in the Agamadeh part of Badagry, Jandor promised to set up a ministry for the physically challenged in the state and it would be headed by one of them.
“I want to appeal to all of us that this election is about giving Lagos a breath of fresh air. It is about time we did something else in the state.
Even with the elections over, Jandor keeps assuring his supporters that all hopes are not lost. With firm belief in the judiciary as the last hope of the common man, he looks up to the election tribunal to do justice to his case.
- Source: https://www.thenicheng.com/lagos-as-tension-rises-over-jandors-moves-to-overturn-sanwo-olus-election/