Tribunal: Rhodes-Vivour closes case against Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat
Tribunal: Rhodes-Vivour closes case against Sanwo-Olu, Hamzat

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

Rhodes-Vivour is also challenging the eligibility of Hazmat to contest on the grounds that he allegedly renounced his Nigerian citizenship and swore allegiance to the United States of America.

During the resumed hearing on Tuesday, Mr. Idowu Benson, the petitioner’s counsel, informed the three-justice tribunal headed by Arum Ashom that the petitioner was closing his case. Ten witnesses had testified in the petition of the LP candidate.

The council also tendered a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the INEC Form EC9 – an affidavit containing the particulars of a candidate – which was hand-filled by Hamzat and had been front-loaded by the counsel for the fourth respondent, All Progressives Congress (APC), before the tribunal.

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All the counsel for the four respondents objected to the admissibility of the document tendered by the petitioner. However, the tribunal admitted the document into evidence and marked it as Exhibit PE713.

The APC counsel, Mr. Noris Quakers (SAN), stated that the CTC tendered by the petitioner was warehoused by the first respondent and did not form a part of the court records. He argued that only a document signed by the Independent National Electoral Commission could be tendered.

The INEC counsel, Mr. Eric Obigor, informed the tribunal that he would pick a date to open their defense while commending the petitioner for closing his case.

The tribunal ordered that the first respondent should open his case on the next adjourned date, but he prayed the court for more time to put his house in order. Obigor stated that he needed time to secure the attendance of his witnesses and consult with the stakeholders of his client.

Counsel to Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat, Mr. Bode Olanipekun (SAN), also commended the petitioner for closing his case, while stating that they should have taken the wise retreat earlier.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the proceedings were stalled on Monday due to the health reasons of an LP witness. The tribunal had adjourned the proceedings until July 5 for INEC to open its defense.

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