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Court Sacks Ekiti PDP Lawmaker, to Refund All Salaries, Allowances Collected till Date

Ayodele Afolabi, Abuja

The Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti, on Monday nullified the election of a People’s Democratic Party(PDP), representing Ado Constituency 1, Mr. Musa Arugundade and declared Mr Toyin Obayemi of
the same party as the validly elected candidate in the April 11, 2015 general elections.

The Court held that after the disqualification of the winner of the primaries conducted on November 29, 2014, Mr Talabi Odunayo over alleged certificate falsification that Obayemi would have been used as replacement, having come second in the primaries in compliance with sections 31 and 36 of the electoral act.

Delivering his judgement, Justice Taiwo Taiwo lambasted the PDP for fraudulently acquiring the judgement before Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja through which Arogundade was fielded as
replacement to Talabi   in Ado constituency 1.

The jurist averred that it was a mark of arbitrariness and non-compliance with the provisions of the extant rules for the PDP to have reduced such a sensitive matter that borders on infringement of rights of an aspirant to a mere party affair.

He said Arogundade, having wrongly been used as a substitute lacks the locus standi to obtain an order compelling INEC to use him as a replacement and the court set aside the order on this premise.

Justice Taiwo said while he shared the opinions of the 2nd, 3rdand 4th respondents’ reliance on the Supreme Court’s judgement in the case of Alhassan Vs Ishyaku which gave power to choose a candidate in election
on the political party, Justice Taiwo said such is not applicable to
when valid primaries was conducted.

He also blasted the INEC for “playing the ostrich and bury its head in the sand while all these were going on”, he said.

Justice Taiwo added: “I will be shirking in my responsibility if I fail to express disappointment with the attitude of the 2nd respondent (PDP). Its action was very worrisome and issue like this goes beyond the internal affairs of a political party, because it can bring about arbitrariness and imposition of candidate.

“The party has no reason to have substituted the 2nd respondent (Talabi)  with the 4th respondent (Arogundade) because he did not participate in the primaries. And it is trite law that any allegation not denied is deemed admitted going by the verdict of the Supreme Court.

“The 2nd respondent did not deny the allegation that he presented a fake WAEC and Ordinary National Diploma Results got from Yaba Polytechnic, Lagos. Having not denied these, it means the averment
were true and the plaintiff ought to have been presented as replacement, having come second in the primaries”.

Citing the supreme court’s judgement in Amaechi Vs INEC and Alhassan Vs Ishyaku “It is my humble opinion that the PDP wrongly submitted the name of the 4th respondent as candidate. INEC has no reason to have issued the certificate of return to him. He was a product of illegality.

“Since INEC due to inexplicable circumstance disqualified the 2nd respondent, then the plaintiff became the sole candidate of the PDP. I order the INEC to withdraw the certificate of return from the 4th respondent and issues same to him.

“While the speaker of the State House of Assembly is directed to swear him in as the lawmaker representing Ado Constituency 1”, he declared.

The Judge ordered the removed lawmaker to return all salaries, allowances and other benefits to the coffers of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.



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