Amuwo Odofin: Appeal Court Upturns Tribunal Verdict, Affirms LP’s Olawande

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos has upheld the election of George Adegeye Olawande, the representative for Amuwo-Odofin Constituency in the House of Representatives.

This affirmation follows the dismissal of petitions challenging his victory in the February 25 election.

The petitioners are the ruling All Progressives Congress, the All Progressives Grand Alliance, and the Zenith Labour Party, as well as their respective candidates in the election.

Their primary contention revolved around George Adegeye Olawande’s sponsorship by the LP and his prior membership in the party before the election.

However, the Court of Appeal panel, consisting of Justices Mohammed Lawal Shuaibu, John Eyo Ekanem, and Paul Ahmed Bassi, unanimously ruled that the appellants lacked the authority to determine a political party’s membership or choose its candidate for an election.

Muyiwa Ogunkolade, counsel for Olawande, had earlier challenged the jurisdiction of the lower tribunal to entertain and decide on the petitions.

He argued that matters concerning the nomination and sponsorship of Olawande by the LP were internal party affairs and external parties, referred to as meddlesome interlopers, had no standing to challenge them.

Furthermore, Ogunkolade argued that the issues raised in the various petitions pertained to pre-election matters, falling outside the jurisdiction of the Election Tribunal.

The Honourable Justices, in dismissing the appeals, concurred with Olawande and the LP’s counsel that the lower tribunal lacked the necessary jurisdiction to consider the matter, leading to the dismissal of the petitions.