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Tribunal Dismisses Rhodes-Vivour’s Move To Consolidate Petition With PDP



The Petition Tribunal for the Governorship Election in Lagos State has rejected an application filed by Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the March 18 election. Rhodes-Vivour had sought to merge his petition with that of Olajide Adediran, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who is commonly known as Jandor.

As per a report from Channels TV, Rhodes-Vivour’s request for permission to present additional witnesses in support of his petition was also dismissed by the Tribunal.

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According to Justice Ashom, who spoke on behalf of the three-person tribunal, the dismissal was based on the provisions of the Electoral Act 2022, Section 285(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Paragraphs 4 subsections (5) and (6) of the First Schedule to the Electoral Act, and Paragraph 14(2). These provisions state that while petitions can be consolidated, caution must be exercised to ensure that the intricate details are established and the court is satisfied that the petitions are distinct from one another.

In this particular case, the court ruled that Rhodes-Vivour is a respondent in the PDP’s petition, and therefore, the petitions cannot be consolidated since the parties involved have distinct issues and relief requests.

Channels TV further reported that the Tribunal also addressed Rhodes-Vivour’s request to call additional witnesses. The Tribunal stated that the original list of witnesses submitted with the petition did not include the names of the additional witnesses. According to Section 285(5) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the list of witnesses should have been filed within 21 days, and the petitioner failed to request an extension within that timeframe. Consequently, the petitioner was prohibited from submitting the list of additional witnesses.

The Tribunal provided its pre-hearing report, which outlined the number of witnesses each party was permitted to call and the allocated time for their examination and cross-examination.

In the interest of justice, the Tribunal granted Rhodes-Vivour permission to call 30 witnesses in support of his case, while the first respondent, INEC, and the second and third respondents, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, were each allowed to call 10 witnesses. The APC, the fourth respondent, was granted permission to call 20 witnesses. This count also includes witnesses that the parties intend to summon.

As a result of these directives, further proceedings were adjourned until Tuesday, June 13, when the Tribunal will commence the consideration of the petitions, marking the conclusion of the pre-hearing sessions.

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