The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, has disagreed with the verdict of the Lagos State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal and has instructed his lawyers to appeal the judgment.
He made this known via a press release on Tuesday to make known his stance on the judgment.
“The essence of democracy lies not only in our ability to vote but also in our capacity to defend the integrity of that vote,” he said.
“Consequently, our laws allow Governorship candidates to challenge the decisions of the electoral tribunals at the Court of Appeal, and up to the Supreme Court. In light of this, my lawyers have been instructed to appeal this judgment, as we remain confident of getting substantial justice at the appellate courts.”
While urging his supporters and Lagosians in general to remain calm, peaceful, and law-abiding, Rhodes-Vivour expressed the hope of getting substantial justice at the appellate courts.
“In these trying times, your unwavering support means the world to us, we must remain united, vigilant, and hopeful,” the LP candidate added.
“The ultimate victory may take time to come our way, but it is, we strongly believe inevitable as we have come to understand that the wheels or justice may sometimes grind slowly but it definitely grinds to a sure end.”
Read the full statement below:
THE JUDGEMENT OF THE LAGOS STATE GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION PETITIONS TRIBUNAL – WE DISAGREE WITH THE VERDICT!
As we reflect upon the judgment of the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal delivered yesterday in respect of our petition concerning the election of March 18, 2023 upholding the election of the ruling party, the All-Progressives Congress (APC) and its gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, we are reminded of the words of one of the American founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson, who once said:
“The greatest danger to freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.”
These words resonate with us deeply, for they highlight the significance of our judiciary in safeguarding the democratic ideals we hold dear. However, it is also a stark reminder that no institution, no matter how noble, is immune to human fallibility.
In the words of the eminent jurist Tobi, JSC in Ejeka V. State (2003) 7 NWLR (Pt.819) 424 that:
“Judges are human beings and therefore are liable to make mistakes and I concede that we can make mistakes.”
Having carefully listened to the judgment of the Honourable Judges of the Tribunal, we believe they, like the learned jurist quoted above stated, have erred in law. The judgment of the Tribunal suggests, erroneously in our view, that a clear constitutional provision in the electoral process has no meaning.
While the disappointment and concern that have arisen from this particular judgement may run deep, we will like to assure our teaming supporters that this verdict is certainly not the final word on the matter. It is just one step in a larger legal process. Our democracy is built on the principles of justice, accountability and the rule of law, including an appeal process that exists to ensure thatmistakes by judges are reviewed by appellate courts.
The outcome at the Tribunal will not in any way diminish our faith and confidence in the Nigerian Judiciary, rather it will strengthen our resolve to keep working with others patriots to bring about a new set of empathetic leadership that will create economic opportunities for Lagosians to fully realize their God given potentials.
As we all know, democracy is the cornerstone of any free and just society. It is the voice of the people, and it is through this process that we express our will and choose the leaders who will guide our communities and our nation. Yet, it is also a process that demands our vigilance, our resilience, and our unyielding faith in its sanctity. The essence of democracy lies not only in our ability to vote but also in our capacity to defend the integrity of that vote. Consequently, our laws allow Governorship candidates to challenge the decisions of the Electoral Tribunals at the Court of Appeal, and up to the Supreme Court. In light of this, my lawyers have been instructed to appeal this judgement, as we remain confident of getting substantial justice at the appellate courts.
We urge all our supporters and Lagosians in general to remain calm, peaceful and law abiding. In these trying times, your unwavering support means the world to us, we must remain united, vigilant, and hopeful. The ULTIMATE VICTORY may take time to come our way, but it is, we strongly believe inevitable as we have come to understand that the wheels or justice may sometimes grind slowly but it definitely grinds to a sure end.
With absolute faith in Almighty God and gratitude to my entire family, my running mate, my campaign team, members of our great party, political activists/well-wishers, and Lagosians of all walks of life whose sacrifices brought us this far, I reiterate my full determination to stay the course until victory is achieved.
Excellent public service and standing up for the common good are some of the strong values that the Rhodes-Vivour family of Lagos Island is proudly associated with. I fully intend to continue in this family tradition for the benefit of Lagos State and its people.
God bless Lagos State.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
GBADEBO RHODES-VIVOUR (GRV)
LABOUR PARTY GOVERNORSHIP CANDIDATE IN LAGOS STATE.