Politics

Court Sacks Ekiti Lawmaker, Orders Him To Refund Salaries, Allowances

The Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti on Monday ordered Hon. Musa Arogundade, a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly representing Ado Constituency 1, to vacate his seat.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, while delivering his judgment, said Arogundade did not participate in the Peoples Democratic Party primaries conducted on November 29, 2014.

Justice Taiwo granted all the reliefs sought by the plaintiff, Toyin Obayemi, and ordered his swearing-in.

He said evidence before the court showed that the lawmaker did not contest or participate in the PDP primaries.

Taiwo held: “From the totality of arguments by parties involved, I am of the belief that the arguments of the defendants stand so weak to that of the plaintiff.

“I set aside the judgment delivered by Justice E. S. Chukwu of the blessed memory in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/125/2015 as same was fraudulently obtained.

“It is my belief that suit no. FHC/AD/CS/17/2015 has not been overtaken by any event like the Election Petitions Tribunal judgment and issuance of Certificate of Return.

“I hereby order that the Certificate of Return be issued to the plaintiff by INEC and the immediate swearing-in of Obayemi by the Speaker of the House of Assembly as a member.

“I also order that all salaries and allowances received by Musa Arogundade be returned.”

Justice Taiwo, however, awarded N50,000 and N100,000 cost respectively against the second and fourth defendants in favour of the plaintiff.

Joined in the suit are the Independent National Electoral Commission as first defendant and Talabi Oduayo as second defendant.

Others are PDP Ekiti State chapter and Musa Arogundade as the fourth defendants.

Obayemi’s lawyer, Olayinka Sookoya, told the court in his originating summons that Talabi submitted fake documents, including GCE and OND results, to INEC.

He averred that Talabi was not qualified to contest the State Assembly Election.

He urged the court to declare Obayemi the winner of the State Assembly Election as the sole candidate in the party primary.

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