The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, situated at Tafawa Balewa Square in Lagos State, has declared Thaddeus Atta’s election victory from the Labour Party in Eti Osa Federal Constituency as void.
In a late-night ruling on Monday, the tribunal found the elections inconclusive and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in polling units where voting did not occur.
Bankole Wellington, the Nigerian singer and actor, known as Banky W, who represented the Peoples Democratic Party and was the runner-up in the February 2023 election, along with Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro from the All Progressives Congress, had both filed petitions challenging the election results.
The electoral commission initially declared Thaddeus Atta the winner with 24,075 votes, while Banky W and Obanikoro garnered 18,668 and 16,901 votes, respectively.
Ibrahim Obanikoro, the APC candidate, reacted positively on his official Instagram account (@repibrahimobanikoro) on Tuesday morning, expressing his approval of the tribunal’s ruling, which he believes aligns with the Constitution.
The tribunal’s decision to order a supplementary election in multiple polling units under the Eti-Osa Federal constituency where voting did not take place was met with satisfaction and optimism.
It signifies a positive step for our justice system, and the judges are praised for their adherence to constitutional principles. Work will commence promptly.
Ibrahim Obanikoro also conveyed through his Instagram story that the February 25 election was rightfully declared inconclusive, and the court had instructed INEC to withdraw the return certificate and conduct elections in areas where voting was disrupted on Election Day.
Thaddeus Atta, representing the LP, shared on his Instagram handle (@_JtAtta) on Tuesday morning, emphasizing that he was not removed from office.
The Tribunal’s decision simply necessitates a re-run (supplementary election) in the 32 polling units where elections could not be held.
He urged constituents to remain calm, assuring them of his unwavering commitment to Eti-osa.
Banky W, reacting similarly to the election outcome, posted on his verified handle on Monday night, stating, “It is possible. Still.”