Adamu Shettima Yuguda Dibal, the former Deputy Governor of Borno State and Chairman of the last governorship primary election of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos State appeared as a witness Tuesday before the Lagos State Election Petition Tribunal.
The primary election resulted in the selection of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the APC Governorship Candidate for the 2023 General Elections.
The Peoples Democratic Party and its governorship candidate for the March 18 poll are challenging Sanwo-Olu’s reelection as the state governor.
Mr. Bode Olanipekun (SAN), the counsel representing Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, led Dibal in providing evidence.
Dibal informed the tribunal, headed by Justice Arum Ashom, that the Lagos State Chairman of the APC, Mr. Cornelius Ojelabi, did not violate any electoral regulations when he officially notified the Lagos State Office of INEC about the party’s primary election in Lagos State.
During cross-examination by Mr. Clement Onwuenwunor (SAN), counsel for the PDP Governorship Candidate, Mr. Abdulazeez Adediran (a.k.a. Jandor), the witness was asked whether Ojelabi was the National Chairman of the APC at the time he wrote the letter on May 24, 2022.
The witness responded in the negative.
Dibal informed the court that the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) established state committees responsible for conducting the primary election in all 36 states.
When cross-examined by APC counsel Mr. Babatunde Ogala (SAN), the party member confirmed that Ojelabi was notifying the INEC office that the NWC had constituted a five-member committee, with himself as the Chairman, to conduct the primary election in Lagos State.
After completing the process, the witness also stated that he submitted a report on the primary election to the APC’s national secretariat.
Responding to INEC’s counsel, the witness, Mr. Adetunji Oyeyipo (SAN), mentioned that representatives from INEC’s headquarters and Lagos Office were present during the primary election and signed a report on its conduct.
No cross-examination was conducted by the counsel of the Labour Party and its Candidate, Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour.
Following this, the tribunal, led by Justice Arum Ashom, dismissed the witness and instructed the APC to commence its defense on July 12.
Adediran accused the governor of presenting a forged West African School Certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the petition.
Adediran also claimed that Hazmat should have included an oath declaration in his INEC Nomination Form EC9.
Furthermore, he alleged that the APC did not adhere to the Electoral Act when nominating Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat.
Adediran, who came in third in the governorship election, concluded his case on July 4 after presenting oral and documentary evidence.