The National Publicity Secretary of the Labour Party, Mr Abayomi Arabambi has testified before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Ikeja Lagos that the Amuwo-Odofin House of Representatives member-elect, Mr Olawande George was never among the candidates sponsored by the Labour Party for the February 25th election.
The Labour Party Publicity Secretary who appeared before the Tribunal yesterday said he was invited by the court to testify before the three- man panel in a petition filed by the All Progressive Congress (APC) candidate for Amuwo-Odofin Federal Constituency election, Prince Lanrewaju Sanusi, challenging the victory of Mr Olawande George at the poll.
In a petition number EPT/LAG/HE/16/2023 filed before the first Panel led by Justice A. B. Abdullahi, Hon. Sanusi popularly called PLS is asking the Tribunal to declare him the winner of that election on the ground that the Labour Party candidate declared by INEC did not win the election and his candidacy is still in contention.
Speaking with journalists outside the court after giving evidence to validate his position, Mr Olawande George’s name was fraudulently included in the list of the candidates submitted before proceeding on appeal, Mr Arabanbi said,
“I came to the court because I was subpoenal to appear before the court to give some facts about some judgement affecting the Labour Party and to tender some other documents.
“I was invited by the court as the sole deponent for Labour Party in 24 states prior to the 2023 general elections. I was the one who was in charge of the primary elections for House of Assembly, House of Representatives and the Senate in those 24 states, so, it is in that capacity that the Tribunal has invited me to come and give evidence on certain infractions.
“Let me first make it clear that I am not a member of the APC and I am not in court to represent APC, however, I am here to protect my image as the sole deponent”, Arabambi said.
He went further to narrate how 15 names earlier submitted later became 27 miraculously.
“There are some names that were not in the list of our candidates in the 24 states where I conducted primaries but were included by the former national chairman of the party in person of Julius Abure, especially in Lagos State.
“It is true we went to court to get a judgement to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to upload the names of all our candidates across the 24 states on its portal.
“It was later that I got to know that Abure in collaboration with our Presidential candidate, Mr Peter Obi had imputed some names when the case got to the Appeal Court.
“When Abure wrote to INEC to obey the judgment of the court in uploading the names of our candidates, it was then 15 names now turned to 27 names. Not only that, 15 names changed to 27 names, they were also changing candidates from constituency to constituency. You will see somebody’s name in Kosofe and later in Amuwo-Odofin, the same person will also appear in Oshodi/Isolo.
It was as a result of this that I then wrote a petition to the Inspector General of Police and the President of the court of Appeal that there are infractions in the names given to INEC contrary to the Court of Appeal’s judgement.
“Consequently upon which I have to come and testify before the Tribunal those candidates that were not sponsored by the Labour Party which include Olawande George. I have tendered all the necessary documents in respect of this.
Meanwhile, in a swift reaction to the development by Hon George Adegeye Olawande through his media aide, Mr Kingsley Nwanze, he described the effort of Mr Sanusi to overturn the victory of Hon. Olawande George as effort in futility.
“Our attention has been drawn to a misleading statement circulating on social media platforms in respect to a document claimed to have been submitted to the Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lagos for the disqualification of Hon. George Adegeye Olawande. The purveyor of the said statement only exposed his ridiculous height of stupidity.
“The statement further revealed the collective stupidity of the author and his paymaster. Sanusi will never stop exhibiting his uncontrolled desperation for a mandate joyfully reposed on Hon. George Adegeye Olawande by the good people of Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency.
“We have no doubt that Lanre Sanusi and his few paid supporters are still suffering the trauma resulting from Hon. George Adegeye Olawande’s victory.
“Lanre Sanusi has admitted repeatedly and publicly that Hon. George won the election but he has not stopped bothering himself with how Hon. George became the candidate of the Labour Party. Please, what’s the business of the All Progressives Congress and its candidate with the Labour Party?
“This same pre-election issue Sanusi has taken before the Election Petition Tribunal but in his usual desperation he will never be patient and allow the tribunal to do the needful by reaffirming the mandate of Hon. George Adegeye Olawande as the Representative for Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency.
“We believe in the judicial process to deliver justice appropriately, so we
are appealing to the good people of Amuwo Odofin Federal Constituency particularly the executives and members of Labour Party to remain calm as their mandate given to Hon. George Adegeye Olawande is intact under the grace of God”, he said.
Meanwhile, the case was yesterday adjourned till June 13th and 14th 2023.