The Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal has concluded the proceedings in the two petitions challenging the election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat.
The three-man tribunal, led by Justice Arum Ashom, has reserved judgment in response to the petitions presented by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party and Abdulazeez Adeniran of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
During the proceedings on Saturday, the tribunal announced that the judgment date would be communicated to the concerned parties following the adoption of final written addresses by the respective counsel.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) is the first respondent in the petition, while Governor Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor Hamzat are the second and third respondents, respectively.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) is the fourth respondent in the case.
Governor Sanwo-Olu’s counsel, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), urged the tribunal to dismiss the petitions on grounds of lack of merit.
Olanipekun asserted that the petitions were merely an academic exercise and highlighted that they lacked reference to the deputy governor, focusing solely on the governor himself.
Furthermore, he argued that the allegations against Deputy Governor Hamzat’s citizenship and allegiance to the U.S. lacked sufficient evidence to substantiate the claims.
Similarly, the counsel for APC, Mr. Abiodun Owonikoko (SAN), contended that the arguments regarding Hamzat’s citizenship were not adequately proven by the petitioners.
Meanwhile, INEC’s counsel, Mr. Charles Edosonwan (SAN), emphasized that the petitioners failed to provide evidence to support their claims that the election did not comply with the Electoral Act.
Mr. Olatunji Benson, the counsel representing the Labour Party and its governorship candidate, Rhodes-Vivour, pressed the tribunal to uphold their assertion that Deputy Governor Hamzat was not qualified to contest the election.
He went on to request the removal of both Governor Sanwo-Olu and Deputy Governor Hamzat from office, advocating for Rhodes-Vivour to be declared the governor of Lagos State.
On the other hand, counsel for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Clement Onwuenwunor, raised the issue of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s qualifications.
He claimed that he did not possess a secondary school leaving certificate and, therefore, was ineligible to hold the position of governor.