Lawyer Liborous Oshoma, has said that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s triumph at the tribunal represents a success for his political party and his supporters, rather than for all as there is nothing like absolute justice.
The Lagos State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, on Monday, upheld Sanwo-Olu’s win and rejected the appeals filed by Olajide Adeniran Jandor from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour from the Labour Party (LP).
On Monday, while speaking to the press at the State House in Ikeja, Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had characterized the judgment from the tribunal as a victory for all.
During an interview with ARISE NEWS on Tuesday, Oshoma stated that it is victory for the party and those who believe in him but highlighted that “there is nothing like absolute justice.”
He stated that is why there are people who hold differing opinions and want to subject it to further appeals at the Supreme Court.
However, he added, “It will enable focus because no matter how strong a politician is, once there are litigations in court, you will consistently look behind even though you want to move as fast as you can.”
Oshoma also highlighted that the recent revision of the Electoral Act differs from the 2010 Electoral Act by narrowing down the individuals who are eligible to file court cases and by removing the previously existing provision that permitted anyone to take such action.
He said, “Now, it is only aspirants that are cloaked with the locus to challenge such information.
“Therefore, if you are not an aspirant in the primaries of a specific political party and you go to court, the court views you as a meddlesome invader because the law does not grant you the legal standing to do so.”
He added, “On the issue of certificates, even the supreme court adhered consistently that for you to prove the forgery of a document, you must present the original and then compare it.
“One thing is to have a strong ground, another thing is to have the locus, the power to actually present those grounds at the election petition.”
The Tribunal had concluded that the 6th respondent, the Labour Party, should not have been included as a respondent in the case brought by Jandor and the PDP.
Consequently, the party’s name was removed due to an improper inclusion, and all evidence and exhibits associated with the party were likewise removed from the tribunal’s records.
Oshoma emphasized that the way evidence is presented in law is important, stating, “For example, election petitions will tell you that document to be tendered at the petition must be filed with the witness deposition which also must be filed at the presentation of the petition.”
He said that once the filing is submitted, changes are not allowed, even if a subpoena witness is needed to be introduced or if the witness is accessible.
“The moment that party was expunged from the list as a party, every document submitted by that party is expunged also,” he said, “It is presumed that they never participated.”
In the issue of lawful votes, he said, “If the margin of lead is so wide, it becomes very difficult for you to prove unlawful votes.”
Furthermore, Oshoma mentioned that there has been a shift in the way admissibility is handled, from being a subject of debate and discussion during the presentation phase, to admitting all documents in order to expedite the legal process, pending the final arguments where parties can then discuss and dispute specific documents.