LP’s Rhodes-Vivour Closes Case Against Sanwo-Olu

On Tuesday, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the governorship candidate of the Lagos State Labour Party, concluded presenting his case against the victory of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 18 election before the election tribunal in Ikeja.

It is reported that Gbadebo is also questioning the eligibility of Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat to run for office, alleging that Hamzat renounced his Nigerian citizenship and pledged allegiance to the United States of America.

During the hearing on Tuesday, Idowu Benson, the petitioner’s lawyer, informed the three-man Tribunal led by Justice Arum Ashom that the petitioner was concluding his case.

A total of ten witnesses testified in support of the LP candidate’s petition.

The petitioner’s counsel also submitted a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the INEC Form EC9, an affidavit containing the candidate’s details that was completed by Hamzat and submitted by the counsel for the fourth respondent, the All Progressives Congress (APC), prior to the tribunal.

All the counsel representing the four respondents objected to the admissibility of the document submitted by the petitioner.

Despite the objections raised by the APC counsel, Mr. Noris Quakers (SAN), the tribunal ultimately accepted the document as evidence and designated it as Exhibit PE713.

Mr. Quakers argued that the certified true copy (CTC) presented by the petitioner had been stored by the first respondent and was not included in the official court records.

This document is not currently before this tribunal,” he asserted. “Only a document signed by the Independent National Electoral Commission can be validly tendered.”

He further stated, “We will present additional arguments in our final written address to explain why this document should not be admitted.”

The counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr. Eric Obigor, informed the tribunal that he would select a date to commence their defence.

He also praised the petitioner for concluding their case.

In response, the tribunal ordered the first respondent to present their case on the next adjourned date.

However, the respondent requested additional time to organize their affairs.

“We will schedule a date to begin presenting our case and express our appreciation to the petitioner for concluding their case, despite it being unexpected,” stated Obigor. “Currently, I cannot secure the presence of my witnesses by tomorrow. I need to consult with my client’s stakeholders. One day will allow me to put everything in order.”

Mr. Bode Olanipekun (SAN), the counsel representing Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat, also commended the petitioner for closing their case.

He mentioned that they should have made this wise retreat earlier.

The tribunal adjourned the proceedings until July 5th to allow INEC to initiate their defence.

By Chinedu

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