By Nnamdi Ojiego
The Lagos State Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal Wednesday, dismissed an application filed by the Counsel to the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN,Mr. Kunle Adegoke, asking for the replacement of counsel.
The Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) had in a suit filed at the Tribunal challenged the declaration of the ACN candidate by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission as the winner of the chairmanship election in Agbado-Oke Odo Local Council Development Authority.
Respondents in the suit are the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, the Action Congress of Nigeria and Dr Augustine Arogun as first, second and third respondents respectively.
The third respondent had in a motion, asked the Tribunal to grant its application for change of counsel representing it from David Adeyemi to Kunle Adegoke.
However, Counsel to the petitioner, Mr Ayo Odugbesan, in a counter-motion, prayed the Tribunal to dismiss the application for lack of merit and in the interest of justice.
Having listened to the submissions of the two counsels, the Tribunal Chairman, Hon, Justice Francis Owobiyi (rtd) in his ruling dismissed the application on lack of merit and adjourned the case to August 9, 2012.
Reacting shortly after the ruling, Counsel to the second respondent, Mr. Kunle Adegoke faulted the ruling saying the position of the Tribunal would restrict the applicant from fair hearing, even as he disclosed his intention of appealing the ruling.
He explained that only one counsel was representing both the second and the third respondents but the Party has decided to engage the service of its own counsel. According to him, the implication of the ruling is that the third respondent would be left with no counsel to represent him.