The much-anticipated judgment day approaches as the Lagos State Governorship Election Tribunal prepares to rule on the petitions lodged by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party and Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, representing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
These petitions are contesting the outcome of the March 18 governorship elections in Lagos State, where Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor Obafemi Hamzat of the All Progressives Congress (APC) were declared victors by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Justice Arum Ashom-led panel has officially announced the forthcoming judgment, scheduled for this Monday.
Rhodes-Vivour, who secured the second position in the polls, emphasized the constitutional significance of his petition, asserting that dismissing it would equate to endorsing unconstitutionality.
He passionately called for the disqualification of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat and his own return as the rightful victor based on the highest number of lawful votes cast.
Meanwhile, INEC, the first respondent, submitted minimal evidence, relying on two documents as exhibits and urged the tribunal to dismiss Rhodes-Vivour’s petition due to a lack of substantial proof.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, and the APC challenged the seriousness of Rhodes-Vivour’s petition, pointing out the absence of witness statements and personal appearances in support of his case, deeming it “wishy-washy” and deficient in evidence.
In a parallel challenge, Jandor, along with the PDP, also sought the disqualification of Sanwo-Olu and Rhodes-Vivour, citing non-compliance with the Electoral Act 2022 and INEC’s guidelines. Jandor additionally argued discrepancies in Governor Sanwo-Olu’s qualifications, based on the exhibit master list from the West Africa Examinations Council (WAEC).
INEC, echoing the stance of the governor and the APC, called for the dismissal of Jandor’s petition, asserting its lack of evidence.
As the verdict day approaches, tensions rise, and the fate of the Lagos State governorship hangs in the balance. Stay tuned for the tribunal’s decision on this high-stakes legal battle.
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