Stakeholders and the throngs of Labour Party supporters have been reassured by National Legal Adviser Kehinde Edun that they are not losing sleep over the nullification of Congressman Seyi Sowunmi, who represents the Ojo Federal Constituency in Lagos State in the House of Representatives.
In a conversation with our correspondent on Friday, Edun, who shared the party’s stance on the matter, stated that they have formally appealed the ruling.The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, which is based in Lagos, fired Sowunmi on Thursday.The All Progressives Congress candidate, Lanre Ogunyemi, was proclaimed the legitimate winner of the February 25 election in the ruling rendered by a three-member panel chaired by Justice Abdullahi Ozegya.
Justice Muhammad Sambo and Justice Ashu Ewah were the other panelists.The development follows Ogunyemi’s challenge to the Independent National Electoral Commission’s declaration of Sowunmi as the election’s victor. Ogunyemi, a two-term state lawmaker and former secretary of the APC in Lagos, claimed that Sowunmi was not eligible to run for the Ojo Federal Constituency on the Labour Party platform and that he was not properly sponsored.
The tribunal agreed with the petitioner that the LP candidate lacked eligibility to run in the elections when it rendered its decision on the petition.
As a result, the tribunal decided that his votes were invalid and that Ogunyemi, the second runner-up, should have been proclaimed the winner.The LP’s national legal adviser, however, informed our correspondent that Sowunmi does not necessarily need to resign from her position right once in light of the nullification.
According to Nigerian law, an elected official holds office until the matter is finally resolved by the Supreme Court, he stated. We have filed an appeal after the panel rendered a ruling.
“The Court of Appeal is hearing this case, and the loser still has the option to appeal to the Supreme Court.” Not fired, Sowunmi remains a member of the House of Representatives.The attorney took use of the occasion to criticize the Lamidi Apapa-led party faction for trying to mislead on Thursday’s ruling by the Abuja-based Appeal Court.
Edun emphasized that the restraining order on Julius Abure’s faction mentioned was a temporary injunction, even if he stated that no court in the nation accorded Apapa the authority to act on behalf of the national chairman.To begin with, Lamidi Apapa was never the Labour Party’s deputy national chairperson.
Apapa lacks the authority to take action, even in the national chairman’s absence. Three deputy chairmen are appointed by the LP constitution. Just one of these chairman, that was him. Furthermore, only the National Working Constitution is authorized to fill vacancies as per the party’s constitution.