The Lagos State governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday said he is ready to defend his mandate before the State Governorship Electoral Petition Tribunal.
Sanwo-Olu stated this at the premises of the Tribunal sitting at the Lagos High Court, Ikeja where he had gone to sign a response to the two petitions, filed by Owolabi Salis, the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) and Prof. Ifagbemi Awamaridi, the candidate of the Labour Party, challenging his victory in the March 9 election.
The governor-elect, who was accompanied to the court by his the deputy governor-elect, Obafemi Hamzat and some other aides, said he is prepared for the petitions and he has no problem about the eventual outcome.
He said, “What we came here to do is to put an official deposition to the challenge by two governorship candidates.
“We are certainly confident because Lagosians have spoken and the entire populace that went out on March 9 to cast their votes which was a very popular vote.
“It was devoid of any form of incident, there was not one incident that was reported officially. We believe and trust that the Tribunal will do their job and Lagosians will be happy.
“It is a process that all of us must submit ourselves to and that is why we are here today and we are confident that the Tribunal will do their job well,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu’s lawyer, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) who also spoke to journalists insisted that his client was confident of victory at the Tribunal.
He said, “We are working based on the facts on ground, we have been able to review the two petitions and we are not in any kind of doubt that we have sufficient and credible answers to all the allegations in the petitions.
“In fact, our reply has a very loaded preliminary objection, these petitions were filed in a Tribunal that was unknown to law. They were filed to Lagos Gubernatorial Electoral Petition Tribunal, when you see our processes you will know that we were brought here on what we consider a charade.
“This is for you to have an idea of the nature of the defence we are putting up. This is the proper Governorship Election Petition Tribunal but the petitions were not filed before this Tribunal.”
Owonikoko said a number of the issues raised by the petitioners had already been resolved before the governorship elections.
“Up until today His Excellency (Sanwo-Olu) has not been served with any Petition. The party All Progressives Congress (APC), has been served with the petitions but he personally came to the Tribunal today to sign for his own Process.
“Immediately he signed, he filed his reply. This is to show that we are prepared for these petitions and we have no problem about the eventual outcome’’.