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Monday, June 17, 2024

Appeal court sets up additional panels to hear election petitions in Lagos

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Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, the President of the Court of Appeal, has established two additional panels to hear petitions related to the National and State House of Assembly Elections in Lagos. This development comes after several aggrieved parties filed petitions before the Lagos Election Tribunal. The newly constituted panels, named Panel two and three, will commence hearing next week at the State High Court located at Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island. Meanwhile, Panel one will maintain its sitting at the Rosaline Omotoso Courthouse in Ikeja, together with the only panel hearing petitions on Governorship elections.

Currently, the tribunal is still receiving relevant pre-hearing applications from parties, and it is expected to commence hearing those applications next week. According to the Secretariat, the Lagos State Governorship, National and State Houses of Assembly Election Petition Tribunal received 48 petitions challenging the 2023 elections held on February 25 and March 11. Out of the total number of petitions, four were filed to challenge the governorship elections held on March 11, 2023. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Abdul-Azeez Adediran, as well as the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, were among those who filed, alongside the Allied People’s Movement (APM) and the Action People’s Party (APP).

The Tribunal also received five petitions from five Senatorial candidates and 26 petitions from House of Representatives candidates who lost during the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections. Additionally, a total of 13 petitions were filed to challenge the elections into the State House of Assembly. In response to the high number of petitions, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem established two more panels to expedite the process of hearing the petitions.

This development is expected to hasten the process of resolving the petitions arising from the 2023 elections in Lagos. The establishment of additional panels by the President of the Court of Appeal will go a long way in addressing the concerns of the aggrieved parties while ensuring that justice is served.

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