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Labour Party Gubernatorial Candidate in Lagos Closes its Case at Tribunal

The Labour Party Governorship Candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour has closed its case contesting the victory of the Lagos State Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, before the Election Tribunal sitting in Ikeja.

Mr. Rhodes-Vivour is challenging the victory of Sanwo-Olu in the March 18 Governorship election.

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

At the resumed hearing on Tuesday, the petitioner’s counsel, Mr Idowu Benson informed the three-justice tribunal headed by Justice Arum Ashom that the petitioner was closing his case.

Ten witnesses had testified in the petition of the LP candidate.

The counsel 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 to the fourth respondent, All Progressives Congress (APC) before the Tribunal.

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

The tribunal, however, admitted the document into evidence and marked it as exhibit PE713.

The APC counsel, Mr Noris Quakers (SAN) said the CTC tendered by the petitioner was warehoused by the first respondent and did not form a part of the court record.

“It is not a document before this tribunal.

“It is only a document signed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) that can be tendered.

“We will further argue on why this document should not be admitted in the final written address,” he said.

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

The tribunal ordered that the first respondent open its case on the next adjourned date but he prayed to the court for more time to put his house in order.

“We will be taking a date to open our case and commend the petitioner for closing its case even though it was unexpected.

“At the moment, for me to secure the attendance of my witness, I can not get them by tomorrow.

“I will need to do consultations with the stakeholders of my client.

“A day will enable me to put my house in order,” Obigor

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

Quakers also stated that the court was taken by surprise as they did not expect Rhodes-Vivour would close his case early.

The proceedings were stalled on Monday due to the health reasons of the LP witness.

The tribunal had on Monday adjourned the proceedings due to the ill health of a witness scheduled to testify in favor of Rhodes-Vivour.

Benson had mentioned that the witness was in court but had to leave for treatment as he became indisposed before proceedings commenced.

The tribunal adjourned until July 5 for INEC to open its defence.

Wahab Akinlade

Akinlade I. WAHAB is a dedicated journalist and the proprietor of I-WAHAB Media. He embarked on his career at Murhi International TV (MiTV) and subsequently joined Radio Nigeria as a Judicial Correspondent.With a profound interest in legal reporting, he currently holds the positions of Chairman at the National Association of Judicial Correspondents (NAJUC), Ikeja Branch, and Chairman at the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Radio Nigeria Chapel.As the owner of I-WAHAB Media, he has successfully established Top Court News, a platform renowned for providing comprehensive coverage of court cases and legal developments, with the aim of promoting transparency within the judicial system.Akinlade's diligent work and unwavering commitment to ethical reporting have earned him immense respect within the Nigerian journalism community.

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