As part of the efforts to put to rest allegations surrounding legitimacy of the Labour Party candidate for Lagos gubernatorial 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 party’s flagbearer recognised by the court for the upcoming 2023 election in the state.
They said that the affidavit being brandished by Awamaridi as the true position of the court that he had been certified as an authentic Labour party candidate were false and they do not represent the judgements delivered by the court in the state.
The lawyers stressed that there were two judgements, including that 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 allegations made by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, AbdulAzeez Adeniran popularly called Jandor that the LP candidate had a case before court, saying the case brought against him by the PDP had been thrown out by the Federal High Court for lacking merit.
It was learnt that the Appeal court udgement was delivered ustice Muhammad Sirajo while the Federal High Court cases brought beore it by Awamaridi and PDP were decided by Justice D.E. Osiagor, recently.
According to the legal practitioners, anyone going around parading themselves as the candidate of the party aside Rhodes-Vivour, and others alleging cases before the court on his LP candidate were those that are 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 believe that misleading the public especially the electorate before the election on March 18 was the best strategy to adopt.
The team of lawyers including Olagbade Benson, Uchechukwu Ani and Kemi Afesojaye, made the clarification on Monday during a press briefing held in Ilupeju axis of Lagos State, to debunk all claims and set the record straight on who was the authentic Labour Party candidate for the election.
Benson said: “Our attention has been drawn to an affidavit dated 5th August 2022 tagged Aidavit o 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 o the LP candidate where he sued Independent National Electoral Commission (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 act that it was filed out o 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.
“At the moment, especially today, he is the only one recognised by the court and INEC, which is the electoral umpire, for Saturday’s gubernatorial election in the state”.
Reacting to Jandor’s claim, the counsel stressed that there was no case aecting the LP candidate from vying for seat of Lagos State Governor of the state, stating that all cases that could prevent Rhodes-Vivour rom contesting have been struck out
Ani added that the affidavit being paraded by Iagbemi had been subjected to many court decisions and the court has ruled on them, dismissing it and upholding the stance of the Labour Party National Working Committee (NWC) that Rhodes-Vivour is the party’s candidate.
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