​In Ekiti Court sacks PDP lawmaker over election fraud

The Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti has sacked a member of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Mr. Musa Arogundade for his fraudulent nomination for the 2015 election.

The nomination of Arogundade for the election by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was not valid, Justice Taiwo Taiwo ruled on Monday, July 4.

He however declared Mr. Toyin Obayemi, who was the first runner-up in the November 29, 2014, primary, as the rightful occupant of the Ado Constituency 1 seat.

Based on the sections 31 and 36 of the Electoral Act, the judge held that Obayemi ought to have been presented as the candidate of the party after the disqualification of the winner, Mr. Talabi Odunayo .

According to the judge, the PDP fraudulently acquired a judgment before Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja through which Arogundade was fielded as a replacement for Talabi

Counsel to the second to fourth respondents (Odunayo, PDP and Arogundade) had argued using the Supreme Court’s judgment in the case of Alhassan Vs Ishaku, which vested the power to choose a candidate in an election on the political party.

But Justice Taiwo dismissed his argument, saying it is not applicable when a valid primary election was conducted.

He berated the first respondent, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), for “playing the ostrich and burying its head in the sand while all this was going on.”

“The 2nd respondent (Talabi) did not deny the allegation that he presented a fake WAEC and Ordinary National Diploma results from the Yaba Polytechnic, Lagos.

“…I order INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return from the 4th respondent and issue same to the plaintiff (Obayomi).

“While the Speaker of the State House of Assembly is directed to swear him in as the lawmaker representing Ado Constituency 1, ” the judge held.

He also ordered Arogundade to return all money received as emoluments and allowances, during his one-year stay as a member of the House, to the purse of the Ekiti State House of Assembly.