The Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal on Wednesday resumed the hearing of the Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate, Abdulazeez Adediran’s case challenging the re-election of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as Governor of Lagos State in the March 18 governorship poll.
On Tuesday, a former Deputy Governor in Borno State, Adamu Shettima Yuguda Dibal, who chaired the last governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, testified for Sanwo-Olu at the tribunal sitting.
Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Bode Olanipekun, a counsel to Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, led Dibal in evidence at the court session, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.
In his defence, Dibal told the tribunal headed by Justice Arum Ashom that the Lagos State Chairman of the APC, Mr Cornelius Ojelabi, did not flout any electoral regulation when he notified the Lagos State Office of INEC in writing about the party’s primary election in Lagos State.
During cross-examination, Clement Onwuenwunor (SAN), counsel to the PDP Governorship Candidate, Mr Abdulazeez Adediran (a.k.a. Jandor), asked the witness whether Ojelabi was the national chairman of the APC as at May 24, 2022, when he wrote the letter.
The witness replied in the negative. He explained to the tribunal that it was APC’s National Working Committee that set up state committees that conducted the primary election in all 36 states.
While being cross-examined by APC counsel, Mr Babatunde Ogala (SAN), the chieftain, after being shown the said letter, which had become an exhibit before the tribunal, said that Ojelabi was only informing the INEC office that the NWC had constituted a five-member committee to conduct the primary election in Lagos State and he was the Chairman.
The witness also said he produced a report on the primary election to the national secretariat of the APC after the exercise.
The witness, while replying to INEC’s counsel, Mr Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), said that representatives from INEC’s headquarters and its Lagos Office were present during the primary election and signed a report on its conduct.
There was no cross-examination by counsel of the Labour Party and its Candidate, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
The tribunal headed by Justice Arum Ashom thereafter discharged the witness and directed the APC to open its defence on July 12.
In the petition, Adediran accused the governor of presenting a forged West African School Certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He also accused Hazmat of not including an oath declaration in his INEC Nomination Form EC9. He added that APC did not comply with the Electoral Act when nominating Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat.
Jandor, who emerged third in the governorship election, closed his case on July 4 after presenting oral and documentary evidence.