By Simeon OSAJIE
The Lagos State candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the governorship candidate in the March 18 election, Rhodes-Vivour has presented over 20,000 documents before the State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal to challenge Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s victory.
The LP candidate through his lead counsel, Dr. Olumide Ayeni on Turesday presented the documents which were stacked in 13 boxes alongside his schedule of exhibit. The tribunal subsequently directed the petitioner to allow all the respondents access to the documents. The respondents are to begin examining the documents on Tuesday and the examination ends on Wednesday.
At the proceedings, the 13 boxes contained INEC forms EC9, EC8A & B, Form EC40A, Form EC40G, BIVAS Reports, and more in over 13,000 polling units, result sheets from different polling units, and other relevant documents.
Before the adjournment of proceedings, the counsel to the petitioner, Dr. Ayeni, had sought to move an application to allow the petitioner to tender, use and rely on certain documents including a report of inspection, sworn witnesses of certain persons listed on its application as well as other electoral documents used or purportedly used in the election which is the subject matter of the petition.
In his response, Charles Edosomwan (SAN), who represented INEC, the first respondent in the suit, described the application as “a ground-moving motion”.
He asked for time to consult his client so as to determine whether or not to oppose the application.
Muiz Banire (SAN) and counsel to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State and his Deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, the 2nd and 3rd respondents to the petition, told the tribunal that the application was not ripe for hearing. The counsel also noted that by the provisions of paragraph 47(4) of the first schedule, his clients are still within time to respond to the application.
On his part, Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN) who represented the All Progressives Congress (APC) opposed the application. He stressed that he had his client’s instructions not to allow the petitioner to reopen its case after the close of pre-hearing. He also indicated that he would take time to respond appropriately to the application.
After the submissions, the petitioner’s counsel asked the tribunal to grant a stand down so it could present its documents in line with the tribunal’s pre-trial report that same be done on or before the end of Tuesday (13/06/2023).