Rhodes-Vivour remains LP candidate, party’s legal team clarifies
To put to rest the allegation surrounding legitimacy of the Labour Party’s (LP) candidate for Lagos governorship election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, a team of legal practitioners representing the standard-bearer, has dismissed claims by a former governorship aspirant, Ifagbemi Awamaridi, that he was the authentic flagbearer of the party recognised by the court for the election in the state.
The team of lawyers, including Olagbade Benson, Uchechukwu Ani and Kemi Afesojaye, made the clarification, yesterday, during a media briefing in Ilupeju axis of Lagos State.
The legal team said that the affidavit being brandished by Awamaridi as the true position of the court that he had been certified as an authentic LP candidate was false and does not represent the judgment delivered by the court in the state.
The lawyers stressed that there were two judgments, including the one from the Federal High and Appeal Courts, affirming the candidature of Rhodes-Vivour as the bonafide standard-bearer of the party for Saturday’s election.
Aside from that, the lawyers also faulted allegation made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, AbdulAzeez Adeniran, popularly known as Jandor, that the LP candidate had a case before the court, saying that the case brought against him by the PDP had been thrown out by the Federal High Court for lacking merit.
According to the legal practitioners, anyone going around parading himself as the candidate of the party aside Rhodes-Vivour, and others alleging cases before the court on his LP candidate, were those not economical with the truth.
They added that the aim behind such a claim by any individual was because they were afraid of Rhodes-Vivour and believed that misleading the public, especially the electorate before the election on March 18, 2023, was the best strategy to defeat him.
Benson said: “Our attention has been drawn to an affidavit dated 5th August 2022 tagged Affidavit of non-withdrawal which was sent to INEC, stating that he was yet to step down from his role as Labour Party candidate. But after, Awamaridi filed a suit before the Federal High Court with No: FHC/ABJ/1463/2022, challenging the candidature of the LP candidate where he sued INEC, the party and Rhodes-Vivour.
“On the 8th of December, the Federal High Court considered the case and struck it out. Anyone that is interested can apply for the judgement because it is a public document. And because he felt that the judgement did not go in his favour, head to the Appeal court. And on February 2nd, 2023, the Appellate court terminated Awamaridi’s case and it was based on the fact that it was filed out of time allotted by the law or pre-electoral matters.
“Also, the PDP filed a suit challenging his candidature and that matter was struck out at the Federal High Court on December 8th, 2022. And the opposition party did not further their claim after the FHC struck it out.”