The Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the Eti-Osa House of Representatives seat in Lagos State, Bankole Wellington, has expressed his excitement over the recent judgment by the tribunal regarding his petition.
The National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal sitting in Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos State, last Monday invalidated the election victory of Thaddeus Atta from the Labour Party as the duly elected representative for Eti Osa Federal Constituency.
In the judgment delivered, the tribunal ruled that the elections were inconclusive and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission to conduct a supplementary election within 90 days in all polling units where voting did not take place. Banky W, who was declared the runner-up in the February 2023 election, and the All Progressives Congress candidate, Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro, had both filed petitions challenging the election results.
The electoral umpire declared Atta the winner with 24,075 votes, while Banky W and Obanikoro polled 18,668 and 16,901 votes, respectively.In response to the tribunal’s decision, Banky W, during an interview with Arise TV on Tuesday, expressed his satisfaction, highlighting that voters who had allegedly been disenfranchised during the previous poll now have an opportunity to cast their votes.
He disclosed that approximately 29,000 eligible voters had been denied their constitutional rights due to intimidation, vote suppression, and other electoral malpractices.
He said, “I am grateful that the tribunal agreed that when it comes to the matter of electoral processes, every voice deserves to be heard and every voice deserves to be counted.
“What we saw in Eti-Osa which probably reflected in every other part of the country is that there were several polling units where elections didn’t happen.
“In some places, there was voter suppression, intimidation and in some places there was violence, in some places INEC officials showed up but there were no ballots.
“From our calculations, about 29,000 people were not able to participate in the election, which is their constitutional right.
“I’m glad that the tribunal saw merit in our petition. The people who were denied their rights now have a second chance.”