The failure of one of the witnesses named by the Labour Party governorship candidate, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, has pushed back the hearing of his case against the results of the March 18 election at the Lagos state election petition tribunal on Monday.
According to our information, the witness was the 11th individual set to testify before the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which is presided over by Justice Arum Ashom.
At a prior hearing, the petitioner stated that he would summon approximately 30 witnesses to testify in support of his petition. He also furnished the Tribunal with approximately 20,000 documents.
Remember that Gbadebo is contesting the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) proclamation of Sanwo-Olu as the governorship election winner due to massive irregularities and voter intimidation.
The lead counsel for the petitioner, Olumide Ayeni (SAN), was absent from the proceedings on Monday, but the counsel who held his brief, Idowu Benson, told the Tribunal that the witness came to the court earlier but had to leave for medical attention when his health condition deteriorated before the day’s proceedings began.
The attorney requested that the Tribunal grant a brief delay of the proceedings until the following day.
“The witness complained of feeling ill after some time of waiting and then excused himself that he needed to go to the hospital,” he said. We’ve told the other attorneys and asked for their patience.”
However, Eric Ogiegor, counsel for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Segun Ajibola, counsel for Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, did not oppose to the delay request.
Norrison Quakers (SAN), counsel for the All Progressives Congress, also stated that he had no objection because it is a health-related issue.
“The Tribunal witness had a health challenge,” Quakers stated. If tomorrow (Tuesday) is more convenient, we can return, unless they have another witness.”
After hearing both parties’ statements, the Tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Ashom, adjourned the case to Tuesday, July 4, 2023 for continuation.
Rhodes-Vivour, who received 257,502 votes in the March 18, 2023 elections, is requesting that the Tribunal rule that Sanwo-Olu and his deputy were not qualified to run for office.
He sought the Tribunal to proclaim the governor the winner of the election notwithstanding his “non-compliance” with the Electoral Act 2022 and INEC recommendations.
Rhodes-Vivour also claimed that the governor was not legitimately elected by a majority of the valid ballots cast.