Court orders the immediate swearing in of Agboola in Kwara

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The Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, on Wednesday ordered the immediate swearing-in of Raheem Agboola, the Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the Ilorin South state constituency in the 2019 general elections into the Kwara State House of Assembly.

The appellate court dismissed the motion filed by the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the election, Azeez Elewu, and declared that the APC had no candidate in the election.

The appeal court in November last year had earlier declared Agboola as the winner of the Ilorin South constituency of the Kwara State House of Assembly election held on March 10, 2019 and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission to issue certificate of return to the PDP candidate in the election.

The appellate court also ordered that Elewu and his party should pay a fine of N50,000.

But the Speaker of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Yakubu Danladi, refused to swear in Agboola, who is the only member of the opposition party in the APC-dominated Assembly, as he insisted that Elewu, the substituted candidate of the APC in the House of Assembly election, was not joined in case that challenged the election result at the election petitions tribunal.

As a result, the Speaker and the APC headed to the Federal High Court to file a petition against the judgment of the Appeal Court which was subsequently dismissed by the court while another appeal was filed on the matter.

The appeal court in deciding the case set up a special panel of three Justices to look into the case.

Reading the lead judgment on Wednesday, Justice J. Onyemenan dismissed the motion filed by the four respondents that included Elewu, the APC, the Speaker and the Clerk of the Kwara State House of Assembly.

The court frowned on the leadership of the Kwara State House of Assembly for allegedly refusing to swear in the PDP candidate as the duly elected representative of Ilorin South Constituency in the House, as ordered by the court.

He said that Speaker and the Clerk of the House of Assembly had no right not to recognise any member declared by the court as the duly elected winner of an election.

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While Elewu was fined the sum of N200,000 by the court, he was also directed to return all the salaries and allowances he had collected so far as a member of the Assembly.

The court also ordered the Speaker and the Clerk of the Assembly as well as the APC to pay a fine of N300,000.

The court also ordered that Agboola of the PDP should be admitted and sworn in as the duly elected member of the House, representing the people of Ilorin South.

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