Barristers & Solicitors
Tribunal To Decides Rhodes-Vivour’s Fate Today

Lagos State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal will today (Friday) rule on whether or not to strike out an application filed by the Labour Party’s (LP) candidate in the March 18, 2023, election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour for being incompetent.

The chairman of the tribunal, Justice Arum Ashom, fixed the date after taking submissions from counsel in the matter, with some arguing that the petition should be struck out at the preliminary stage.

Other members of the tribunal are Justice Mikail Abdullahi and Justice Igho Braimoh.

Rhodes-Vivour who scored 257,502 in the elections is seeking an order of the tribunal nullifying the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Dr Obafemi Hamzat on grounds that they were not qualified to contest the March 18 election.

He asked the tribunal to disqualify the governor for “non-compliance” with the Electoral Act 2022 and the guidelines of INEC and to declare him winner of the election.

Rhodes-Vivour also argued that the governor was not duly elected by a majority of the lawful votes cast at the election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Sanwo-Olu,  Hamzat and the All Progressives Congress (APC) are 1st to 4th respondents in the petition.

At the proceedings, counsel to the petitioner, Dr Olumide Ayeni (SAN) sought the leave of the tribunal to argue two of the nine applications which he said were ripe for hearing.

He said the one application dated May 26, 2023 sought two prayers including leave to file list of additional witnesses while the second one is seeking consolidation of their applications with that of Olajide Adediran of the PDP.

He also said they would have proceeded to argue the applications but that counsel to 2nd and 3rd respondents, Dr Muiz Banire (SAN) and Bode Olanipekun (SAN) filed a motion on notice asking the tribunal to strike out and reject their application and for it to be regarded as their response to the application of the petitioner.

To make progress,  Ayeni urged the tribunal to take all applications and their responses together so that all matters could be dealt with expeditiously.

But the counsel to the respondents, in their various submissions, urged the tribunal to dismiss the petition of the petitioner for being incompetent and for lack of jurisdiction.

The counsel to 1st respondent, Dr Charles Edosomwan (SAN) told the tribunal that they filed counter affidavit and written addresses in opposition to the two applications and written addresses filed by the petitioner.

After listening to all the submissions of the counsel, Justice   Ashom adjourned till today to deliver its ruling.