The Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal on Tuesday dismissed an application seeking to stop the May 29 swearing-in of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as the Executive Governor of Lagos State.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Terhemen Asua held that the petition of the Alliance for Democracy, AD and it’s Governorship Candidate, Owolabi Salis, lacked merit.
According to the tribunal, “The main purpose of an interlocutory injunction as rightly argued by the respondents is to preserve the ‘res’ that is the subject matter of the case.
In this case, the petitioners have failed to show via their affidavit evidence that the res which is the governorship seat of Lagos State is in danger of being destroyed and has to be preserved by the issuance of the restraining order sought.
“An injunction is only issued to restrain a threatened wrong and not to restrain the performance of a legal right,” he said.
In dismissing the application, the Chairman of the Tribunal also noted that restraining Sanwo-Olu from being sworn-in as Governor will lead to a chaotic situation in the state.
“To crown it all, restraining the second defendant from being sworn-in as governor of Lagos State when the tenure of the incumbent expires on the 29th of May 2019 creates a vacuum in the governance of Lagos State.
“This throws spanners in the works, causing confusion and leaving the entire Lagos State at the mercy of the first petitioner’s (AD) personal ambition to govern the state.
“Such an ugly scenario shall not be allowed by this Tribunal. In the final analysis, we hold that this application lacks merit and is hereby dismissed,” Justice Asua said.
Despite this ruling, the petition filed by the AD and it’s Candidate on the 25th of April is still pending before the tribunal
In the petition, The AD had alleged amongst other things that Sanni-Olu has a criminal record in the United States and is a person of unsound mind who is not capable to be sworn in as the Governor of Lagos state.
“Sanwo-Olu has records of unsound mind and rehabilitation with the Gbagada General Hospital Lagos state.
“By virtue of section 182(1)(c) of the 1999 constitution as (amended), the second respondent is a person not qualified to be sworn-in as a Governor.
“Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, the present Governor of Lagos state and who is the chief security officer of the state attested to the fact in Punch Newspapers of Monday Oct. 1,2018, that Sanwo-Olu is of unsound mind and not fit and proper to govern Lagos State.
“Governor Ambode equally stated that Sanwo-Olu was arrested and detained for several months and was convicted for spending fake dollars at a night club in America.”
AD and Salis had sought an Order restraining the Chief Judge of Lagos from swearing-in Sanwo-Olu as the Executive Governor of Lagos State.
They had also sought an Order restraining the Chief Judge of Lagos State in the interim from swearing-in Sanwo-Olu as the Executive Governor of Lagos state pending the determination of the Petition at the Tribunal.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the Governor-elect Sanwo-Olu, All Progressives Congress (APC), the INEC Residential Electoral Commissioner, The Returning Officer for The Lagos State Governorship Election, the Commissioner of Police and the Nigerian Army were all listed as respondents to the Petition.