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Breaking: Supreme Court affirms Sanwo-Olu as Lagos Governor

The Supreme Court, on Friday, affirmed the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.

The apex court, in a unanimous decision by a five-member panel led by Justice Inyang Okoro, dismissed, as lacking merit, two separate appeals that challenged his return as winner of the governorship election held in the state on March 18.

The appeals were brought before the court by candidates of the Labour Party, LP, Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and that of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abdulazeez Adediran, popularly known as Jandor.

Specifically, the LP and its candidate, Rhodes-Vivour, had prayed to the court to determine whether Sanwo-Olu, who was the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, was qualified to contest the election, considering that his deputy and running mate, Obafemi Hamzat, has dual citizenship.

The appellants alleged that the Lagos State deputy governor took the citizenship of the United States of America, USA.

They argued that since the deputy governor, by his action, was constitutionally ineligible to contest the election, it invalidated Sanwo-Olu’s candidature at the election.

However, both the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, as well as the APC, urged the apex court to dismiss the appeal for lack of competence.

The respondents stressed that both the Lagos State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and the Court of Appeal had unanimously dismissed the allegation and LP’s petition against the outcome of the gubernatorial contest.

Meanwhile, in its lead judgement that was delivered by Justice Mohammed Garba Lawal, the Supreme Court said there was no evidence that Sanwo-Olu’s deputy denounced his Nigerian citizenship.

It held that the prohibitions in Section 28 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, was not applicable to a person that is a Nigerian citizen by birth.

According to the Supreme Court, there is no law stripping a Nigerian citizen by birth from enjoying his status, rights, and privileges owing to the acquisition of the citizenship of another country through naturalization.

It held that the Appeal Court was right in affirming the judgement of the tribunal that Sanwo-Olu and his deputy were not disqualified from contesting the governorship election.

Consequently, it dismissed Rhodes-Vivour’s appeal as lacking in merit.

SourceVANGUARD

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