The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has declined an application by the candidate of the Labour Party in the March 18th,2023 governorship election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour seeking to consolidate his petition with that of the Peoples Democratic Party Governorship candidate Adediran Olajide Abdulazeez also known as Jandor. The three-man tribunal presided presided over by Justice
The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has declined an application by the candidate of the Labour Party in the March 18th,2023 governorship election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour seeking to consolidate his petition with that of the Peoples Democratic Party Governorship candidate Adediran Olajide Abdulazeez also known as Jandor.
The three-man tribunal presided presided over by Justice Arum Asho, who delivered the verdict on behalf of the other two members of the tribunal Justice Mikail Abdulahi and Justice Igho Braimoh maintained that the consolidation application was denied because the parties in the two petitions were different, holding that the petitioners also have different grounds.
The tribunal during the sitting on Monday also dismissed the application by the Labour Party candidate who applied for permission to add more witnesses on the ground that the timeframe to make such an application has elapsed.
According to the tribunal, the application to add more witnesses should have been filed within 21 days as stipulated by Section 285(5) of the 1999 constitution (As amended), insisting that since the application for an extension of time to file for additional witnesses was not submitted, the tribunal could not grant the order.
Gbadebo Rhodes, through his counsel, Olagbade Benson had appealed to the tribunal to allow the consolidation of the two petitions because they are from the same governorship election.
However, Norrison Quakers (SAN), APC’s lawyer, and Sanwo-Olu’s counsel Olaonipekun objected to the application insisting that the LP Candidate was way out of the time and that the consolidation application should have been attached as an exhibit.
In a similar vein, INEC counsel called for the dismissal of the application, stating that the LP Candidate was making a tactical move to amend its petition.
Having declined the application, the election tribunal disclosed its pre-hearing report on the number of witnesses each Party can call for examination and cross-examination, allotting 30 witnesses each to APC, its candidate Babajide Sanwo-Olu, LP, and Gbadebo Rhodes while the electoral commission is limited to 10.
Recall that Gbadebo Rhodes of the LP had petitioned the candidate of the All Progressives Congress Babajide Sanwo-Olu, his deputy Obafemi Hamzat and the Independent National Electoral Commission seeking an order to nullify the election of the APC candidates because they were unqualified to contest the governorship polls.
Whereas, the PDP candidate, Abdulazeez Adediran Olajide had filed an application against Mr Sanwo-Olu, his deputy, Gbadebo Rhodes, and the INEC, seeking an order to disqualify the two candidates and be named as the winner of the gubernatorial election.