Hon. Aliyu Sadiq Afeez, a chieftain of “Operation Rescue Lagos” has predicted that Asiwaju Asiwaju Bola Tinubu may lose hold on Lagos soon ending his political empire over Lagos just like Bukola Saraki and others who have lost control of their hold on their states.
This is however depends on the Supreme Court of Nigeria doing justice to the petition of Chief Owolabi Salis and Alliance for Democracy who have proceeded to the Supreme Court to challenge the election of Sanwo-Olu and APC as the governor of Lagos State.
It is clear from the evidence before the court that the results of the election were allocated and does not represent the true valid votes in accordance with the Constitution and the Electoral Act. His candidate, who is now the governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is also not qualified and is reported to have used a cloned card for the election. This is a serious matter. Sanwo-Olu Voter’s identification Number is BBBB BBBB BB29 5797 059. If you go to INEC online, is showing invalid command.
For those who have been following the tribunal hearing, Chief Owolabi Salis introduced evidence that Sanwo-Olu and APC colluded with INEC Lagos to write the results of the election and they are so rude about it that zero vote was allocated to Chief Owolabi Salis and AD in Ifako Ijaiye. Ifako Ijaiye is one of the strongest holds of Chief Owolabi Salis and AD because he is a double Chief in Ifako as the Saraki of Ojokoro in Ifako and Ajagungbade of Ifako. Chief Owolabi Salis i understand had trained over 5000 students in empowerment, maintain relationships with the religious and cultural leaders in Ifako but zero was allocated.
Before the election, Chief Owolabi Salis popularly called “Oba Mekunnu” the King of the less privileged has about 42 centers for empowerment of the less privileged in Lagos. In Ifako Ijaiye, he has 2 centers. Surprisingly, the empowerment is open to all Lagosians without discrimination including APC children. He also have Eto Ilu radio that cares for the rights of the less privileged in Bond FM 92.9 for over 10 years.
During the inspection of materials, the team of Chief Owolabi Salis and AD discovered thousands of votes for Chief Owolabi Salis than what was recorded as the result.
There is no doubt that Chief Owolabi Salis and AD were targeted in the elections and the allocations were done to discourage Chief Owolabi Salis from going to court. But the Chief is proving them wrong.
It is interesting to know that Sanwo-Olu himself revealed to some press teams that Agbaje of PDP was not going to be his problem but Chief Owolabi Salis of AD. Sanwo-Olu knows the game in advance.
The emphasis is on qualification and validity and to be validly elected as the governor of a state, you have to score the majority of the valid votes in 2/3rd of the local governments in the state. You also have to be qualified to contest for the election. These two thresholds are not met.
In the tribunal hearing, while Chief Owolabi Salis and AD were arguing the lack of substantial compliance and merits of the case, Sanwo-Olu and APC just concentrate on technicalities. They did nothing on merits than argue technicalities. So funny and disappointing. They know they commit blunders and have nothing to offer.
The Supreme Court in the past had ruled against technicalities in BUHARI V INEC & ORS (2008) LPELR-814 at PP. 202-203, Paras. E-A, per MUSTAPHA, JSC thus: “Substantial compliance in this situation means actual compliance in respect to the substance essential to every reasonable objective of the statute. It means that a Court or Tribunal should determine whether the Statute has been followed sufficiently so as to carry out the intent for which it was adopted. The doctrine of substantial compliance permit the overlooking of technical failure that does not amount or constitute a substantial deviation from the intendment of the statute. See London And Clydesdale Estate v. Aberdeen District Council (1980) 1 WLR 182. The question of what constitutes a material departure from a statutory requirement, or the question of whether requirements have been satisfied inevitably raises the question of degree.”
There is so much fraud in the INEC forms that the tribunal and the Court of Appeal decided to ignore for reasons best known to them. There is substantial non compliance in the conduct of the election because of the collusion between Sanwo-Olu, APC and INEC.
The Court of Appeal in the case of Aji v. Danlele &Ors (2015) LPELR-40362(CA) Per Onyemenan J.C.A. when considering the nature of Election Petition held as follows: “It is now a chorus which I must sing here again, that election matters are sui generis and as such must be conducted strictly with the laws and rules guiding them.” See also Ajadi v Ajibola 2004 1 LRECN 283
INEC forms of results and collation shows wide disparities in what is allocated results of the election.
In TERAB V. LAWAN (1992)3 NWLR (PT.231)569 at 592, the Court of Appeal per Aikawa JCA held: “But one has to bear in mind the nature of Forms EC8A and EC8B as expressed in Decree 50 of 1991. The two forms are to show the polling stations, the code number, the ward and Local Government Area they relate to. They are statutory forms and when tendered give full and conclusive information needed for a polling unit. A Petitioner who tendered them in proceedings has by so tendering them given all the relevant evidence which is discoverable from the forms”.
Sanwo-Olu and APC care not to defend the allegations of Chief Owolabi Salis and AD and are so rude to the court that they refused to testify. They are so build on the impunity that they can get anything they want in Lagos.
Chief Owolabi Salis and AD argued to the tribunal with schedules per local government thus:
My Lords, a vote can only be declared valid if it has been taken through the furnace of the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Electoral Act and the guidelines/manual for Elections. Thus, it is the substantial compliance of votes cast with the legal framework that renders such votes valid. The issue of non compliance have been held to be a fundamental defect which naturally leads to a nullification of the process. See Nwakwo v Yar’adua (2010) 12 NWLR (Pt. 1209) 518 per Adekeye JSC.
My Lords, the fact of the non compliance of the votes cast with any form of validity can be seen expressly on the face of the polling unit results, Forms EC8A as exemplified in the table below – where the vote cast is characterized by over voting in every local government, unauthenticated alterations, lack of accreditation, mutilations of form EC8A, failure of polling officers to sign, stamp, or put names on polling unit results, failure to record polling units of the voters on form EC8A, filing two different results from the same polling units, etc all points to the failure to comply with the requirement of statute. While Section 73 of the Electoral Act 2010 (As amended) makes provision for the issuance of guidelines for elections which shall encapsulate the step by step recording of the poll in the electoral forms as in forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C, etc up to the final declaration of results, section 74 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) clearly state: “Every result form completed at the ward, local government, state and national level in accordance with the provisions of this Act or any guidelines issued by the commission shall be stamped, signed and countersigned by the relevant officers and polling agents at those level and copies given to the police officers and the polling agents where available.”
Thus, the non compliance with the provisions of statute above and particularly as it relates to section 53 (2) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) exemplified by the evidence on forms EC8A from all the wards and local government in the state, calls for the intervention of his Honourable Tribunal in doing the needful to wit declaring the results in all these polling units as null and void as the law is clear that:“where there is fundamental failure to comply with the requirement of a statute, the issue is not of irregularity but a nullity” – see Nigercaire Development Company Ltd v Adamawa State Water Board & Ors (2008) 9 NWLR (pt. 1093) 498 at 524.
Section 138 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) are clear and unambiguous. The Section 138 (1) a. is specifically couched thus; “138 (1), An Election may be questioned on any of the following grounds: that is to say- a. That a person whose election is questioned was, at the time of the election, not qualified to contest the election;”
The Supreme Court in ADEOGUN V FASHOGBON (2008) 17 NWLR PT 1115, 149, @ 201, paras C-F., where the Supreme Court Per Francis Fedode Tabai JSC held as follows, “ .. a candidate who loses an election, is empowered to raise, as a ground for the nullification of the said election, the issue of qualification of a candidate for the election which is by law assigned to the Election Tribunal as a Post-election matter for determination.” @ 201, paras C-D.”
A major undoing of Sanwo-Olu and APC, who are respondents in the case is failure to testify and challenge the claims of Chief Owolabi Salis and AD that the results were allocated which is true and that Sanwo-Olu voter’s card is cloned.
Chief Owolabi Salis and AD had argued that the Respondents ( Sanwo-Olu and APC) having failed to call evidence to controvert the averments and evidence led in proof of averments in the petition are deemed to have abandoned their replies and admitted the petition of the Petitioners (Chief Owolabi Salis and AD). The averments and evidence of the Petitioners are therefore uncontroverted and unchallenged. See OKOEBOR V. POLICE COUNCIL (2003) 12 NWLR (PT. 834) 444 @ 472-473
The averments and evidence of the Petitioners being uncontroverted and unchallenged, the burden of proof on them is therefore minimal proof and this principle applies to declaratory reliefs. See BURAIMOH V. BAMGBOSE (2003) FWLR (PT. 164) 189.
The minimal proof required here is “as little as possible” or “very little”. See LARMIE V. DATA PROCESSING MAINTENANCE & SERVICES LTD (2005) LPELR-1756(SC).
We submit that the claims of the Petitioners as contained in the PETITION are uncontroverted and unchallenged and the minimal burden of proof placed on them have been discharged and we urge my Lords to so hold on the authority of ASEWUYI V. ODUKWE(2005) LPELR-165(SC) at P.18, Paras. C-D, where Supreme Court, per KATSINA-ALU, JSC held as follows: “It is now settled law that where there is no evidence to put on one side, of the imaginary scale in a civil case, minimum evidence on the other side satisfies the requirement of proof”
The conclusion is that it is clear from the evidence that the results are allocated and is also clear that the voter’s card used by Sanwo-Olu is cloned. If justice is to be followed at the Supreme Court, that is the end of Tinubu hold on Lagos. Fellow Lagosians will witness serious jubilation in Lagos with over 1 million parade of people who have long waited for their freedom from slavery. It is up to the Supreme Court to free the people of Lagos from hold of slavery and corruption.
If you have read this, spread the freedom.