By Funke Busari
The Lagos State Election Petitions Appeal Tribunal has upturned the judgment of the state election tribunal which ordered a fresh chairmanship election to be held in Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA)
The tribunal subsequently affirmed the election of Action Congress of Nigeria candidate, Jide Jimoh and his Vice, Mrs. Olumegbon Bola Lawal respectively.
In a unanimous decision, the 5-man panel headed by Justice Opeyemi Oke held that all the proceedings that led to the judgment of the lower tribunal was conducted without jurisdiction.
The Appeal Tribunal in its lead judgment delivered by Justice Mojisola Dada held that the lower tribunal lacked jurisdiction to conduct proceedings without any application for extension of time and without any order made extending the proceedings of the tribunal beyond 30 days as provided by Section 14 and 54 of the Tribunal Law.
“’I allow this appeal and dismiss the petition of the petitioner at the lower Tribunal, the proceedings having been caught by the provisions of Section 14 (1) of the Local government election tribunal law’’, Justice Dada held.
Justice Dada further held that the lower tribunal by operation of the law lost jurisdiction to hear and deliver judgment in the petition filed by the People’s Democratic Party Candidate, Adeyemi Moyegun upon the expiration of 30 days provided by the Local Government Election Tribunal Law which establishes and vested jurisdiction on the tribunal.
The tribunal further held that the lower tribunal erred in law when it held in it judgment delivered on November 22, 102 that Section 14 of the State Election Tribunal Law is unconstitutional on the ground that it offends Section 36 of the Constitution.
Justice Dada held the petitioner (PDP candidate) had ample opportunity under the Local Government Election Law to apply for enlargement of time within which the tribunal could determine the petition but failed to do so.
‘’something cannot be built on nothing. The conduct of the proceedings without jurisdiction is a nullity a mere waste of time”, the tribunal held.
The court further awarded cost of N250, 000 against the first respondent (Adeyemi Moyegun)
It would be recalled that the tribunal nullified the declaration of Mr. Jide Jimoh of the ACN as the winner of the election held in Yaba Local Council Development Area and ordered a fresh poll in the council.
The tribunal said it based its decisions on the irregularities that took place during the conduct of the election in the two councils.