On Tuesday, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Lagos State, concluded his case in the petition challenging the victory of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 18 election at the state election petition tribunal.
Rhodes-Vivour is also contesting the eligibility of the state’s deputy governor, Obafemi Hazmat, for the election. The basis of his challenge is the allegation that Hazmat renounced his Nigerian citizenship and pledged allegiance to the United States.
During the hearing on Tuesday, the petitioner’s lawyer, Mr. Idowu Benson, informed the tribunal, presided over by Arum Ashom, that the petitioner was closing his case.
A total of 10 witnesses had testified in support of the LP candidate’s petition.
The petitioner’s counsel also presented a Certified True Copy (CTC) of the INEC Form EC9, an affidavit containing the candidate’s particulars, which was filled out by Hamzat and submitted by the counsel for the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the tribunal.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC were named as respondents in the case.
All the counsels representing the four respondents objected to the admissibility of the document submitted by the petitioner.
However, the tribunal accepted the document as evidence and marked it as Exhibit PE713.
The counsel for the APC, Mr. Noris Quakers (SAN), argued that the CTC presented by the petitioner was kept in storage by the first respondent and was not part of the court records.
He said: “It is not a document before this tribunal.
“It is only a document signed by the Independent National Electoral Commission that can be tendered.
“We will further argue on why this document should not be admitted in the final written address.”
The INEC counsel, Mr. Eric Obigor, informed the tribunal that he would pick a date to open their defence while commending the petitioner for closing his case.