Appeal Court upholds Ashafa’s victory
THE Lagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suffered another defeat, as the Court of Appeal in Lagos re-affirmed the victory of Senator Gbenga Ashafa, who represents Lagos East Senatorial District on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 28 National Assembly elections.
The Court of Appeal’s verdict in Lagos last Friday, re-affirmed the earlier verdict by the Lagos State Election Petitions Tribunal, which dismissed a petition challenging Ashafa’s victory by the PDP candidate, Mrs. Salis-Ayodele.
The tribunal, on July 27, upheld the victory of Ashafa as the legally elected senator representing the district.
However the Spokesman of the PDP in the state, Taofik Gani described the verdict as unfortunate, promising that the party will not relent in its determination that elections in the state are free and fair.
According to him, “It is unfortunate that the tribunal in Lagos is getting too technical instead of deciding on the merit of the case presented before it. We are however convinced in our good cases.”
The decision to file an appeal challenging the verdict of the Justice C.U Anwukah-led tribunal was taken by the PDP candidate, Salis Ayodele and the PDP after loosing at tribunal.
The PDP and its candidate had claimed that the judgment of the lower tribunal was erroneous on the grounds that it erred on many issues in arriving at the decision to dismiss her petition.
The party also questioned the qualification of the chairman of the tribunal stating that he was not qualified to sit on the case.
In the final judgment read by Justice Muhammad Danjuma, the judge dismissed the appeal and stated that there was no evidence presented to show cause and prove that the tribunal chairman was not qualified to hold the office.
Meanwhile the APC Spokesman, Mr. Joe Igbokwe described the Court of Appeal’s verdict as a victory for the people of Lagos and confirmation of the wishes and desires of the electorates who voted for continuity in recognition of Ashafa’s contributions to the development of the district and the change philosophy of the APC.
While he assured the people of good governance from the party, Igbokwe urged the PDP to accept the verdict in good faith for the sake of development of Lagos.
In his reaction, Senator Ashafa said, “The time for politicking has gone and all contenders should sheath their swords. In the spirit of democracy, I extend a hand of friendship to the PDP in Lagos East. Let us work together for the development of our dear state.”