Politics

Certificate of Return: Kwara PDP returns to A’Court for enforcement of judgment

 

By Mumini Abdulkareem

The candidate of the Kwara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Hon Abdulraheem Agboola for the Kwara State House of Assembly election representing Ilorin South constituency has returned to the Appeal Court judgment enforcement.

The court last year sacked Hon Hassan AbdulAziz Elewu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) after legal fireworks that lasted over six months between the two parties.

Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq had congratulated the PDP candidate shortly after the Appeal court judgment, a move that was commended by many political watchers.

Also the affected candidate, Elewu had also replicated that action of the Governor and congratulated his opponent.

He however made a u-turn over the issue and insisted that he remain the rightful owner of the seat. He contended that the decision of the court did affect him as he was not a partner to the Appeal Court judgment. The Speaker, Hon Danladi Yakubu-Salihu backed the lawmakers over the issue he has since continued to seat to represent the constituency at the plenary.

All efforts for Agboola to exercise the judgment has proved abortive. The House demanded for a letter to accompany the Certificate of Return issued by INEC to him before he can be recognised and accepted.

Speaking on the issue last night, Agboola and his lawyer, Abdulaziz Ibrahim confirmed the development adding that the court was yet to fix a date for the matter because of the holiday period of the of judge adding that one they resume next week, it will be assigned.

The INEC chairman, Mallam Attahiru Madami had rejected the position of the House while reacting to the issue with this medium in his office.

“The Certificate of Return is what is offered to any elected official to resume duties at the House of Assembly, House of Representatives or senate. There is no any other letter that is given to that effect. If the Kwara State House of Assembly demands a letter, then they should right to us officially and we will reply them that we only give Certificate of Return in this instance. That is what the PDP candidate need to sit.

“We are not part of their politics and they should not involve us in it, INEC Kwara under my watch has never been political and I will never be. I am a very neutral, sincere and straightforward person and I don’t want this issue to affect that. Therefore I want to appeal to the Speaker to allow the PDP man to go and seat because what they are doing presently is illegal. All the present crop of lawmakers there now where only given certificates”, he added.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that the APC candidate have dragged INEC to federal court for the commission not to give the PDP candidate certificate. The commission has filed a preliminary objection to the issue which has been adjourned to January 20. The PDP candidate has also approached the Appeal Court for contempt proceedings against the Speaker and Clarke over the issue.

Recall that INEC was ordered to issue the PDP candidate with a Certificate of Return.
The court based its decision on the disputed APC primaries which earlier produced Alhaji Suleiman Abdulsalam popularly known as Sule Cement as the party’s candidate in the election but was later replaced with 28-year-old Oluwanilo.
Interpreting the action of the APC, the Appeal Court held that the party has no valid candidate for the 2019 House of Assembly elections and thereby declared the candidate with the second-highest votes, who is the PDP candidate, Abdulraheem Agboola winner.
The PDP candidate had challenged the eligibility of APC candidate and his party nomination process at the tribunal following which a fresh election was ordered in Ilorin South state constituency.
While INEC was about to commence preparation for the rerun, the APC approach the court claiming it was Oluwanilo and not Abdulsalam that won its primaries.

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