The legal team of the Labour Party candidate for March 18 governorship election, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, says its client remains the party’s authentic flag bearer in Lagos.
Olagbade Benson, Mr Rhodes-Vivour’s lead counsel, told journalists on Monday in Lagos that three court cases instituted against the Labour candidate recently had been struck out.
In the briefing, Mr Benson, who led two other lawyers, Uchechukwu Ani and Kemi Afesojaye, noted claims by the former Labour gubernatorial candidate and party chairman in Lagos, Ifagbemi Awamaridi, that he had a substantive case against Mr Rhodes-Vivour was false.
Mr Benson said the affidavit provided by Mr Awamaridi as the true position of the court that he was certified as an authentic Labour gubernatorial candidate was fake. He said the affidavit did not represent the judgments delivered by the court in Lagos.
The lawyer explained that there were two judgments, including that from a federal high court and an appellate court, affirming the candidature of Mr Rhodes-Vivour as the bona fide standard-bearer of the party for Saturday’s election.
The lawyer said the high court had thrown out the case against Mr Rhodes-Vivour by the PDP for lacking merit.
“Anyone going around parading himself as the candidate of the party, aside Rhodes-Vivour, and others alleging cases before the court on the LP candidature, are misleading the public,” stated Mr Benson.
He added, “Our attention has been drawn to an affidavit dated 5th August 2022, and tagged affidavit on non-withdrawal which was sent to INEC, stating that he (Awamaridi) was yet to step down from his role as Labour Party candidate. But after, Awamaridi filed a suit before the federal high court with number FHC/ABJ/1463/2022, challenging the candidature of the LP candidate where he sued INEC, the party and Rhodes-Vivour.”
The lawyer further explained, “On the 8th of December, the federal high cCourt 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, he headed 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 Mr Rhodes-Vivour’s candidature, and that matter was struck out at the high court on December 8, 2022, Mr Benson said, adding that “the opposition party did not pursue their claim after the FHC struck it out.”