The Court of Appeal in Lagos has reaffirmed the victory of the lawmaker representing Lagos-East senatorial district, Senator Gbenga Ashafa.
In a swift reaction, however, the Peoples Democratic Party has rejected the ruling, vowing to take the matter to the Supreme Court.
The National and State Assemblies Election Petitions Tribunal had, on July 27, dismissed the petition filed by the PDP and its candidate, Olabisi Salis, in the March 28 National Assembly election.
The PDP, subsequently, took the matter to the Appeal Court but the case was also dismissed.
In its case at the Court of Appeal, Salis and the PDP had alleged that the judgment of the lower tribunal was erroneous on the grounds that the tribunal erred on many issues in arriving at the decision to dismiss the petition.
The PDP also questioned the competence of the chairman of the tribunal, stating that he was not qualified to preside over the case.
In the final judgement read on Friday by Justice Muhammad Danjuma, the court dismissed the appeal and stated that there was no evidence presented to prove that the tribunal chairman was not qualified to hold the office.
Ashafa, in a statement, commended the judiciary for the ruling. He stated that the season of politicking was over and it was time for serious work.
He, therefore, extended a hand of friendship to his opponent, Salis.
The statement read, “Senator Ashafa wishes to put it on the record that the time for politicking has gone and all contenders should sheathe their swords. In the spirit of democracy, I extend a hand of friendship to the PDP in Lagos-East. Let us work together for the development of our dear state.”
However, the PDP has vowed to appeal the ruling. The PDP Publicity Secretary in Lagos State, Mr. Taofik Gani, said it was unfortunate that most tribunals in Lagos had been compromised.
He said the Supreme Court remained the last hope of the common man. The PDP spokesman said the evidence provided by the PDP in Kogi State was honoured by a court while the same evidence was rejected in Lagos.