In a significant development, the National Assembly Elections Petition Tribunal, located in Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos State, has nullified the victory of Thaddeus Atta from the Labour Party as the elected representative for Eti Osa Federal Constituency. The tribunal, in a late-night verdict issued on Monday, declared the previous election inconclusive and directed the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct a supplementary election within the next 90 days in all polling units where voting did not occur.
This decision comes in the wake of petitions filed by Nigerian singer and actor, Bankole Wellington, known as Banky W, representing the Peoples Democratic Party, and the All Progressives Congress candidate, Ibrahim Babajide Obanikoro, both challenging the election results.
In the initial election, Thaddeus Atta was declared the winner with 24,075 votes, with Banky W and Obanikoro securing 18,668 and 16,901 votes, respectively.
Reacting to the tribunal’s decision, Ibrahim Obanikoro, the All Progressives Congress candidate, took to his official Instagram handle (@repibrahimobanikoro) on Tuesday morning to confirm the ruling and commend the judges for upholding the principles of the Constitution. He expressed optimism and readiness for the upcoming supplementary election, stating, “Work starts now.”
Obanikoro shared on his Instagram story, “The Feb 25 election has just been rightly declared inconclusive, and supplementary elections have been ordered by the court. INEC has been ordered to withdraw the return certificate and conduct elections in areas where it didn’t hold on Election Day.”
Thaddeus Atta, on his part, used his LP handle (@_JtAtta) to clarify that he was not removed from office. He emphasized that the Tribunal had ordered a re-run (supplementary election) in the 32 polling units where elections did not take place. He reassured constituents that he remained steadfast and committed to working for Eti-osa and urged them to stay calm as they navigate through this process together.
Banky W, the PDP candidate, hinted at the possibility of a different outcome with a post on his verified handle, saying, “It is possible. Still.”
As this situation unfolds, it underscores the significance of the democratic process and the vigilance of the electoral system in ensuring fairness and justice. We will continue to monitor developments in this matter.