Tribunal resumes hearing of AD, LP petitions against Sanwo-Olu
The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal has resumed hearing of two petitions filed by Alliance for Democracy (AD) governorship candidate, Chief Owolabi Salis, and his Labour Party (LP) counterpart, Ifagbemi Awamaridi.
The three-man panel chaired by Justice Terhemen Asua heard the testimonies of Salis and Awamaridi against Governor Sanwo-Olu. The duo had filed a petition against Sanwo-Olu challenging his victory at the March 9, 2019, gubernatorial ballot.
Aside from Sanwo-Olu, the other respondents are Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), All Progressives Congress (APC), the Lagos Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), the Returning Officer (RO), the Commissioner of Police and the army.
The five-man panel of the Appeal Court led by Justice Hussein Mukthar had upturned the June 17, 2019 decision of the Lagos tribunal, which dismissed the petitions of Salis and Awamaridi on the ground that the petitioners failed to file applications for pre-hearing conference within seven days as prescribed by law. The court ordered the tribunal in Ikeja to resume hearing of the petitions filed by the two candidates.
It held that the tribunal failed to check its record of proceedings before claiming that Salis and Awamaridi filed out of time.
However, at the resumed hearing yesterday, Salis alleged that INEC sabotaged documents he intended to tender as evidence before it.
He accused INEC of refusing to give them some original copies of the receipts of payments for the documents the sought to tender before the tribunal.
Alleging irregularities in the result sheets, Salis sought to tender documents (INEC forms EC 18 and EC8) for polling units in Apapa, Ikeja, Ikorodu, Lagos Island, Amuwo Odofin, Kosofe, and Somolu councils.
But the respondents’ counsel argued that those documents were irrelevant.
“Based on the irrelevance with regard to all the documents tendered, we object that there is no evidence of payment of the documents as received and there is no purported certification of the documents.”
In his response, the petitioners’ counsel, Mr Bola Aidi, argued that he laid a proper foundation for the documents to be tendered and prayed the court to discountenance the objections.
He said that all the documents tendered before the court were original certified true copies.
Hearing on the matter continues today.