Two governorship candidates have challenged the victory of the Lagos State Governor-elect, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, in the March 9 election.
Mr Owolabi Salis and Professor Ifagbemi Awamaridi of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Labour Party (LP) respectively, filed their petitions at the Governorship Electoral Petition Tribunal sitting at the Lagos High Court in Ikeja.
In his reaction, Sanwo-Olu said he was ready to defend his mandate, adding that he was confident that the Tribunal would do its work well.
He addressed reporters alongside the deputy governor-elect, Mr Obafemi Hamzat, on Tuesday at the court premises shortly after signing a response to the two petitions challenging his victory at the poll.
The governor-elect said, “What we came here to do is to put an official deposition to the challenge by two gubernatorial candidates. We are certainly confident because Lagosians have spoken and the entire populace that went out on March 9 to cast their vote which was a very popular vote.”
“It was devoid of any form of incident, there was not one incident that was reported officially. We believe and trust that the Tribunal will do their job and Lagosians will be happy,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration would undertake numerous judicial reforms to aid the speedy administration of justice in the state.
According to him, Lagos has championed a series of reforms in the sector in the last 20 years and his administration will not be left out.
“We will still take bold steps to reform and to better the entire process because we understand the importance of the judicial sector,” the Governor-elect said.
Counsel to Sanwo-Olu, Abiodun Owonikoko, was also confident that his client would win at the Tribunal.
He told reporters that they had nothing to worry about, noting that there were enough answers to the allegations in the petitions.
Owonikoko said, “We are working based on the facts on ground, we have been able to review the two petitions and we are not in any kind of doubt that we have sufficient and credible answers to all the allegations in the petitions.
“In fact, our reply has a very loaded preliminary objection. These petitions were filed in a Tribunal that was unknown to law. They were filed to Lagos Gubernatorial Electoral Petition Tribunal, when you see our Processes you will know that we were brought here on what we consider a charade.
“We are supposed to be approaching a Lagos Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, if you look at the petitions filed by the petitioners … check whether the Tribunal before they filed the petition is known to law,” he added.
Sanwo-Olu’s counsel, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said a number of the issues raised by the petitioners had already been resolved before the governorship elections.