Jimi Agbaje Challenges Ambode’s Victory, Drags Him To Tribunal

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The governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) for Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje has filed a petition at the state election tribunal challenging the victory of All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode in the April 11 polls.

Agbaje, who had congratulated Ambode on his victory, filed the petition on Thursday, April 30, 2015.

The petitioners in the case are Agbaje and the PDP while the respondents are the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Ambode, the APC and the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) for Lagos State, Akin Orebiyi.

According to documents filed by the PDP candidate’s lawyers, the petitioners are contesting Ambode’s victory on three grounds:

1. INEC’s non-compliance with Section 7 of its own 2015 Election Guidelines which provides for the use of card readers in all polling units.

Agbaje is therefore seeking the cancellation of the results of all polling units where card readers were not used.

2. APC’s non-compliance with Section 85 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) which stipulates that a party must give INEC 21 days’ notice of the convention where it intends to choose its governorship candidate.

APC’s letter notifying INEC of the convention where Ambode was elected was submitted on November 18, 2014 while he was chosen as the party’s candidate on December 4, 2014, 5 days shy of the official requirement.

3, Ambode’s alleged conflicting claims of his state of origin. Agbaje is alleging that the APC candidate stated in his JAMB form (REG No: 646789) that he’s from Ilaje Local Government Area in Ondo State while in his governorship form, he claims, under oath, to be from Epe in Lagos State.

An insider said that Agbaje was hesitant to pursue the case against Ambode but was pressured into it by members of his party.

“He already accepted the result but they [PDP] convinced him to challenge it,” the source said.

The Lagos State election tribunal will begin sitting on Tuesday, May 5, 2015.

Ambode won the gubernatorial election in Lagos with 811,994 votes to defeat Agbaje who polled 659,788 votes.

Agbaje reportedly placed a phone call to his opponent at 6.58pm on Sunday, April 12, before the official results were announced, to congratulate him on his victory.