Saturday, 20 July 2019

Court Of Appeal Sacks Ondo State Lawmaker

The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital on Friday upheld the judgement of the Ondo State High Court which sacked a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr. Sina Akinwunmi representing Okitipupa constituency 2 on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.

The state High Court had on May 15, 2019 ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to withdraw the Certificate of Return earlier issued to Akinwumi and give it to James Ololade-Gbegudu from the same party.

The lower court declared Ololade-Gbegudu, the winner of the APC State Assembly primary conducted on October 5, last year in the state constituency and nullified the election of Akinwumi.

Though Akinwumi contested and won the March 9, 2019 House of Assembly election in the constituency, the court upheld that Ololade-Gbegudu won the party’s primary and should be the candidate of the APC in the general election.

Not satisfied with the verdict, Akinwumi approached the appellate court to challenge the lower court’s judgement.

In a unanimous judgement, delivered by Justices M.A Dajuma, R.A Abdullahi, P.A Mahmoud, the appellate court held that the INEC should recognize Ololade-Gbegudu as the winner of the APC assembly primary.

While dismissing the appellant petition, the appellate court verdict, which was read by Justice M.A Danjuma, also directed the Ondo State House of Assembly to swear-in Ololade-Gbegudu as a member from Okitipupa-2.

Obeying the order of the High Court, INEC had last month withdrawn the Certificate of Return issued to Akinwumi and declared Ololade-Gbegudu as the representative of the Okitipupa constituency 2 at the House of Assembly.

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