The Court of Appeal in Lagos State is poised to deliver judgment today at 3 pm on the appeals brought forth by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party and Abdulazeez Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). These appeals challenge the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The notice dispatched by the court has confirmed the scheduled delivery of the judgment, marking the culmination of a protracted legal battle. The panel, led by Justice Yargata Nimpar and including Justices Samuel Bola and Paul Bassi, had previously reserved judgment after thoroughly considering the arguments presented by all involved parties.
During the proceedings on November 7th, Rhodes-Vivour’s lead counsel, Olagbade Benson, emphasized the need for the court to carefully consider their appeal, which challenges the Election Petitions Tribunal’s dismissal of their petitions. The crux of the appeal revolves around legal interpretations of constitutional provisions related to the deputy governor’s qualifications, along with concerns regarding evidence handling and the burden of proof.
The appeals put forth by Rhodes-Vivour and the PDP underscore various grounds challenging the Tribunal’s decision. These include alleged errors in dismissing evidence from subpoenaed witnesses, failure to disqualify Sanwo-Olu and his deputy over citizenship issues, and contentions regarding discrepancies in Sanwo-Olu’s educational certificates.
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun, responded by highlighting that the alleged dual citizenship issue was introduced after the Tribunal’s conclusion, urging the court to dismiss the appeal. Similarly, Jandor lodged 34 grounds of appeal against the Tribunal’s judgment, seeking the disqualification of the APC and Labour Party candidates. The appeal also contests the Tribunal’s treatment of the disqualification issue as a pre-election matter.
Adediran raised questions about the Tribunal’s decision to strike out the Labour Party and its candidate from his petition. This move was based on allegations against Rhodes-Vivour and discrepancies in Sanwo-Olu’s educational qualifications. The outcome of this judgment will undoubtedly carry significant implications for the political landscape in Lagos State.
IMAGE: Politics Nigeria