The Labour Party (LP)’s governorship candidate in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, on Tuesday, closed his case before the Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
Rhodes-Vivour is challenging the victory of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the March 18 governorship poll.
He is also challenging the eligibility of the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat 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, Idowu Benson, informed the three-man Tribunal headed by Justice Arum Ashom that the petitioner was closing his case.
Ten witnesses in all 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 for the fourth respondent, All Progressives Congress (APC), before the tribunal.
All the counsel for 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, 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 records.
“It’s not a document before this tribunal.
“It’s 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,” he said.
The INEC counsel, Eric Obigor, told the tribunal that he would pick a date to open their defence while commending the petitioner for closing his case.
The tribunal ordered that the first respondent should open his case on the next adjourned date, but he prayed to the court for more time to put his house in order.
On his part, Counsel to Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat, Bode Olanipekun (SAN), also commended the petitioner for closing its case, while stating that they should have taken the wise retreat earlier.
The tribunal adjourned till July 5, 2023, for INEC to open its defence.