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Monday, September 25, 2023

Election petition: Sanwo-Olu opens defence



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Lagos State Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, on Monday opened and closed defence in an election petition brought against them by Labour Party and its Governorship Candidate, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.

A defence witness and the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chairman for Lagos State, Mr Fuad Ade-Oki, testified before the tribunal.

He tendered before the tribunal, some documents including Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Form EC9 containing Hamzat’s full personal information as well as the oath he signed on his nomination form.

Labour Party and its Governorship Candidate, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, are challenging the victory of Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat in the March 18 governorship poll.

They are also challenging the eligibility of Hamzat to contest for the election on grounds that he allegedly renounced his Nigerian citizenship and swore allegiance to the U.S.

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APC is joined in the petition as a respondent.

While being led in evidence by counsel to Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat, Dr Muiz Banire (SAN), the APC chairman tendered documents including certified true copies of INEC forms.

The forms include those entitled: “Summary of Result from Registration Areas, “Summary of Results from Local Government Areas, and ” Declaration of Result”.

During cross-examination by APC’s lead counsel, Mr Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), Ade-Oki told the tribunal that he witnessed when Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat were filling the INEC Form EC9 containing their personal information as well as oaths they took on their nomination forms.

He said that the oaths were taken at the Ikeja High Court Registry.

He also testified that Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat paid the prescribed fee for the nomination forms and signed their oaths.

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“The two documents with no 003960120 and 00408841 contained the same facts and reflected the same receipt number,” he said.

The witness thereafter tendered in evidence, through APC’s counsel, the oath declaration page of the Form EC9 and the receipts.

LP counsel, Mr Idowu Benson, however, objected to their admissibility.

Benson said he would reserve his reasons until his final address to the tribunal.

The tribunal led by Justice Arum Ashom admitted the documents provisionally pending when it would hear objections.

After Ade-Oki’s testimony, the tribunal discharged him

Banire then announced that Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat would be closing their case.

The tribunal adjourned the case until July 11 for APC to open its defence. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

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