The Labour Party’s Lagos State gubernatorial candidate, Gbadebo-Rhodes Vivour (GRV), has submitted a Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeal in Lagos.
The appeal challenges the decision of the State Governorship Tribunal, which affirmed the victory of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The notice, prepared by lawyer Olagbade Benson on behalf of 12 others, was filed on October 7th, containing 21 grounds of appeal.A 24-page document has been served to the Respondents’ counsels, including the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the governor, his deputy Obafemi Hamzat, and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
According to a Notice of Appeal which states, “that the Appellant being dissatisfied with the decision of the Governorship Election Tribunal Coram Hon. Justice Arum Igyem Ashom, Hon. Justice Mika’ilu Abdullahi and Hon. Justice Igho Patricia Braimoh delivered on 25th September, hereby appeal to the Court of Appeal… against the whole decision of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal except for the Rulings and findings in favour of the Appellant.”
In ground 1, Rhodes-Vivour said that the Tribunal erred in law when it relied on the Court of Appeal’s decision in the petition of Mr. Peter Gregory Obi & Anor. Vs. INEC and Others to strike out the evidence of all his subpoenaed witnesses.
In grounds 2 and 3, the appellants sticking with the issue of its subpoenaed witnesses also claimed that the Tribunal erred in law when it held that the three witnesses, PW7, PW8, and PW9 were not witnesses that fall within the category of witnesses that could be subpoenaed and subsequently discountenanced their oral evidence and documents on the premise that they were not listed as witnesses and their sworn statements did not accompany the Petition and documents front-loaded in line with the Electoral Act 2022.
In grounds 4 & 5, Rhodes-Vivour contended that the Tribunal erred in law when it held that the burden of proof of the specific Oath of Allegiance subscribed to by the Deputy Governor as well as the evidence of his renounced citizenship rests on the Appellant and that exhibits placed before the tribunal on this issue were deemed abandoned.
Other grounds of the petition touched on the failure of the Tribunal to disqualify Sanwo-Olu and his deputy having found that Hamzat is a naturalized United States of America citizen who made a declaration of allegiance to that country, as well as the failure of the Tribunal to strike out the Final Written Address of both respondents which was allegedly filed in contravention of the provisions of Paragraphs 5(a), 5 (c) and 5(d) of the Election Judicial Proceedings Practice Directions 2022.