LAGOS, Nigeria — The Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal has slated Saturday, August 12, 2023, to consider final written addresses in the complaints lodged by the Governorship Candidates of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, and the PDP’s Olajide Adediran, colloquially known as Jandor.
An insider from the Tribunal’s secretariat affirmed this to our correspondent.
With the day of the hearing on the horizon, all involved parties have submitted their conclusive written statements before Justice Arum Ashom’s three-man panel.
In substantiating his petition, Rhodes-Vivour summoned 10 witnesses, including four under subpoena.
Interestingly, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the primary respondent to the petition, did not bring forth any witnesses. However, they presented two documents, which the Tribunal accepted as exhibits. The INEC has urged the Tribunal to reject Rhodes-Vivour’s petition, citing a lack of evidence.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, cited as the second and third respondents respectively, underscored what they deemed as the petitioner’s seeming nonchalance. They noted that Rhodes-Vivour neither presented a witness statement nor made a personal appearance to validate his claims.
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC, dismissed Rhodes-Vivour’s petition as vague and devoid of substantiating evidence.
Notably, Rhodes-Vivour, who secured the second position in the polls, described his complaint as a “litmus test” of the primacy of the constitution’s provisions. He contends that to brush it aside would be tantamount to sanctioning unconstitutional conduct.
Rhodes-Vivour’s demand from the Tribunal is stark: disqualify Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat and declare him the candidate with the most lawful votes from the Lagos Governorship Election held on March 18, 2023.
Jandor, Rhodes-Vivour’s PDP counterpart, is similarly calling for the disqualification of Sanwo-Olu and Rhodes-Vivour, alleging violations of the Electoral Act 2022 and INEC’s guidelines. He and his party further argue that all votes cast in favor of the two candidates should be rendered null and void.