Tinubu dealt political blow as tribunal declares PDP winner of his local council election

Bola Tinubu in the dock

ACN loses its hold in the Ikoyi/Obalende local council area.

Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the largest opposition party, the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, suffered a huge political blow on Thursday as the court declared the Peoples Democratic Party as the winner of the local government election in his locality.

Mr. Tinubu, also referred to as the ‘Lion of Bourdillon,’ has his house on 26 Bourdillon Street, Ikoyi, in Ikoyi/Obalende local council of Lagos. He is a two-term former governor of Lagos and his house serves as a Mecca of sorts, with hundreds of party faithfuls trooping in daily to seek political favour or direction.

But on Thursday, the ACN leader’s political might was demystified as the Lagos State Election Petitions Tribunal annulled the election of Adewale Adeniji of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, as the Chairman of Ikoyi/Obalende local council in last year’s local government elections.

The tribunal ruled that the PDP candidate, Babajide Obanikoro, is the rightful winner of the election.

Mr. Obanikoro is the son of Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Ghana and a former PDP governorship candidate in the state, Musiliu Obanikoro.

Mr. Adeniji, like many other ACN candidates and eventual winners in the local government elections, was hand-picked by Mr. Tinubu.

How PDP won

The tribunal ordered the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, to withdraw the Certificate of Return presented to Mr. Adeniji and issue same to the ‘real’ winner of the keenly contested poll.

The tribunal further held that after a careful examination of the valid votes cast, the PDP’s candidate polled 6,780 votes against ACN’s 6,248.

The PDP successfully proved that the results of the election were not collated at ward levels as well as at the polling centres.

The annulment comes as a massive blow to the ACN, which got a landslide victory in the 57 local councils of Lagos when the elections held in October 2011.

Pockets of violence were recorded in the several councils in the run up to the release of the results, last year, as thugs from both political camps clashed.

“The petitioners (the PDP) have been able to discharge the burden of proof vested on them as regards to the collation of the results,” the tribunal said.

“It transferred the onus to the respondents who did not tender any LASIEC Form 9A which is the first stage of any election.

“The petitioners have shown that the non-collation of the results at the units and ward levels substantially affected the outcome of the result declared by LASIEC.

The ACN will also pay N100 thousand as legal costs to the opposition party, according to the tribunal.

The tribunal’s ruling confirms the allegations by PDP members that some of the results announced for elections into the local councils were manipulated in favour of the ACN.

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