By Hammed Shittu
The Federal High Court in Ilorin, Kwara State capital, yesterday affirmed the election of a Peoples Demands Party (PDP) lawmaker representing Ilorin South constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Jimoh Abdulraheem Agboola, as duly elected during the last year general election.
The court, therefore, struck out a suit filed before it by the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker, Hon. Abdulazeez Oluwanilo, and his party, challenging the recognition and swearing-in of Agboola as the duly elected member representing Ilorin South state constituency in the Assembly.
The Court of Appeal in Ilorin had last year November nullified the election of Oluwanilo, an APC lawmaker, as the member representing Ilorin South at the state House of Assembly and declared Agboola of the PDP the winner of the election.
Besides, the court also ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a fresh certificate of return to the PDP candidate and INEC had obliged.
However, upon getting the certificate of return from INEC in Abuja, Agboola moved to present it to the Speaker of the Assembly, Hon. Yakubu Danladi, for recognition and swearing-in, but was denied such recognition since last year till this moment.
Instead, the APC lawmaker, Oluwanilo, is still attending legislative duties in the Assembly despite the Appeal Court ruling that affirmed the election of the PDP lawmaker, Agboola.
Despite all protest by the opposition PDP, in the state to the Assembly complex on the need for its leadership to do the needful on the issue, he was still rejected by the Assembly leadership.
However, in order to perfect this alleged illegality, the state government instituted an appeal against the court order claiming that the lawmaker sacked by the tribunal and the appeal court was not the one in the Assembly representing Ilorin South constituency but another man who did not partake in the elections let alone declared winner.
In his ruling yesterday, the presiding Judge, Justice Babagana Achiga, while reading it judgement, struck out the appeal for lacking merit, describing the action of the state government as gross abuse of court processes.
Justice Achiga, therefore, ordered the state House of Assembly Speaker, Danladi, to immediately swear in Agboola of PDP, having satisfied all eligibility criteria to be sworn in as member representing Ilorin South constituency.