By Oluwatope Lawanson
Ikeja – Chief Owolabi Salis, Alliance for Democracy Governorship Candidate for Lagos State in the 2019 General Elections, and his Labour Party counterpart, Mr Ifagbemi Awamaridi, on Wednesday prayed that INEC be subpoenaed to testify before the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal.
In a motion exparte, the candidates urged the tribunal to also compel the state Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to appear before it.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the duo alleged that Sanwo-Olu, INEC, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner for Lagos State and the Returning Officer for Lagos State did not want to come and testify over their petitions challenging Sanwo-Olu’s election.
In the motion supported by a nine-paragraph affidavit, they prayed the tribunal to consider the time frame within which the petitioners would call witnesses,.
The motion exparte was brought pursuant to Order 8, Rule 1(3)&(4) of the Electoral Act (as amended), 2010.
The three-man panel chaired by Justice Terhemen Asua granted the motion to serve the respondents by pasting on the INEC office wall but declined to subpoena the governor, citing the Immunity Clause in the constitution.
“Upon perusing of the motion exparte, we are satisfied that the good cause has been shown by the petitioners.
“The subpeona duces tecum / testificandum shall be served as prayed on the other respondents.
“But as far as the first respondent, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu is concerned, he is covered by the Immunity Clause as a sitting governor; he cannot be compelled to appear in court,” Asua said.
NAN reports that the applicants had filed petitions against Sanwo-Olu challenging, his victory in the March 9 gubernatorial election in Lagos State.
The other respondents are INEC, All Progressives Congress, Lagos State Resident Electoral Commissioner, the state Returning Officer, the state commissioner of police and the army.
Proceedings in the tribunal will continue on Thursday. (NAN)