Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, says the Supreme Court Judgment affirming his administration’s victory, is not just for Deputy Gov. Obafemi Hamzat; but for democracy.
Reacting to the Supreme Court’s verdict on the March 18, 2023 Governorship Election in the state, Sanwo-Olu said on Friday that the victory was for the rule of law, and the entire people of Lagos state.
The Supreme Court on Friday affirmed the earlier verdict of the Appeal Court that Sanwo-Olu is the ‘duly elected governor of Lagos state’.
Justice Garba Lawal, who read the lead judgment, dismissed the appeal filed by the Labour Party (LP) candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, who came second in the election.
”With a deep sense of gratitude to the Almighty, I welcome the verdict of the Supreme Court, which today revalidated the position of people of Lagos who freely cast their ballots for us.
”The victory is not just for my deputy, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat; it is for the rule of law, our democracy and the entire people of Lagos state.
”Like I said in my acceptance speech after the results of the election were declared, there was no victor or vanquished,” he said.
According to him, the approach of his administration to governance since May 29, 2019 is a clear example of inclusive governance, which the government believes in and stands by.
”I, therefore, invite those who are still standing on the fence to show their love for our dear state by joining the train of progressive governance.
“We do not profess a monopoly of ideas,” the governor said.
He said that Friday’s judicial pronouncement, like those of the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal in Lagos, had buoyed confidence in the country’s judicial system, hence, would not be taken for granted.
Sanwo-Olu commended the Supreme Court judges for the well-thought-out and detailed judgment, as they explained the reasons that led them to their conclusions.
He also thanked the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and the Court of Appeal judges for their firm commitment to the principle of fairness and justice.
Sanwo-Olu commended the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the opportunity to fly its flag and the party leaders and members for working tirelessly to ensure the party’s victory at the polls.
”I want to specially commend President Bola Tinubu, for deepening the country’s democracy.
”My deputy and I feel very privileged to have been elected to serve at this auspicious moment in the history of our state. We thank all residents for standing by us through this journey.
”Let me reiterate that this judicial victory will spur our government to continue on the trajectory of progress that we started in 2019, which has resulted in many achievements across many areas of lives.
”For us, our aim in governance is about service and ensuring that we are not distracted from all the promises we made to our people.
”The judgment will now allow us to accelerate our interventions to ensure that we continue to deliver more dividends of democracy to residents – in line with our THEMES+ developmental agenda.
”The ruling of the Supreme Court has ended the judicial process on the governorship election,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Rhodes-Vivour, the Peoples Democratic Party and its candidate, Dr Abdulazeez Adediran, had approached the apex court to challenge Sanwo-Olu’s victory in the election.
The LP urged the Supreme Court to hold that the March 18 election was marred by irregularities and non-compliance with the Electoral Act.
He also added that the Lagos state deputy governor was not qualified to contest the election.
Similarly, Adediran filed 34 grounds of appeal, asking the apex court to upturn the verdict of the Lagos State governorship election tribunal and the court of appeal. (NAN)