Legal Nigeria

Appeal Court upholds Ambode’s election

The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, on Wednesday held that Akinwumni Ambode was validly elected as the governor of Lagos State on April 11.
It dismissed the appeal filed by his challenger, Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and awarded cost against him.
The appellate court affirmed the verdict of the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal which, on July 1, upheld Ambode’s victory.
The three-man tribunal, led by Justice Muhammad Sirajo, struck out Agbaje’s petition seeking to nullify Ambode’s declaration as winner.
Ambode, of the All Progressives Congress (APC), polled 811,994 votes against Agbaje’s 659,788.
Justice Sirajo said the petition by Agbaje and the PDP were defective because they failed to pray for the conduct of a fresh election.
The Appeal Court, after dismissing Agbaje’s appeal on the ground that it is “incompetent”, ordered him to pay compensation cost of N50,000 to each of the respondents.
Ambode, APC, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) are the respondents.
The Appeal Court rejected the appellant’s argument that the tribunal ought to have made the order as a consequential one.
It held: “There is no doubt that one of the inherent powers of the court is to make consequential orders in the interest of justice, even when such orders have not been prayed for.
“But the inherent powers of a court to make consequential orders do not include the power to grant a substantive or principal relief.”
The tribunal had struck out Agbaje’s petition due to his failure to ask for a fresh election.
It held: “In the instant petition, apart from seeking an order nullifying the election of the second respondent, the petitioner did not ask for fresh election.
“So, if, for instance, the election is nullified, the people of Lagos State would be left in an anarchy situation as no order can validly be made for the conduct of fresh election, same having not been sought for.”
The Nation