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Witness’ absence stalls GRV’s petition against Sanwo-Olu

Witness' absence stalls GRV's petition against Sanwo-Olu

Due to the unavailability of the petitioners’ witness, the Tribunal’s Monday hearing in the appeal brought by Labour Party governorship candidate Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour seeking to invalidate the return of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy was delayed.

The witness was set to give testimony before the Justice Arum Ashom-led Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.

Rhodes-Vivour, the petitioner, has so far called 10 witnesses to support his claim. The 11th witness would have been called on Monday.

The petitioner had stated that he will bring around 30 witnesses to support his case. He had also given the Tribunal access to more than 20,000 documents.

The petitioner’s lead attorney, Olumide Ayeni (SAN), was not present for the Monday proceedings, but Idowu Benson, the attorney who handled his brief, informed the Tribunal that the witness had arrived at the court earlier but had to leave when his health began to deteriorate just before the day’s proceedings to receive medical attention.

The attorney requested that the Tribunal approve a brief postponement of the hearings until the following day.

He said, “The witness complained of feeling ill after waiting for some time and then excused himself that he needed to go to the hospital. We have informed the other counsel and craved their understanding.”

Segun Ajibola and Obafemi Hamzat, the attorneys for Sanwo-Olu and the Independent National Electoral Commission, respectively, did not raise any objections to the request for an adjournment.

Norrison Quakers (SAN), the attorney for the All Progressives Congress, added that he has no objections because it is a health-related matter.

Quakers said, “The witness of the Tribunal had a health challenge. If tomorrow (Tuesday) is convenient, we can come back tomorrow, except they have another witness.”

After hearing both parties’ statements, the Tribunal’s Chairman, Justice Ashom, adjourned the case to Tuesday, July 4, 2023 for continuation.

Rhodes-Vivour, who received 257,502 votes in the March 18, 2023 elections, is requesting that the Tribunal rule that Sanwo-Olu and his deputy were not qualified to run for office.

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