Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Tension now mounts in Kwara State over the purported continued recognition by the Speaker of Kwara State House of Assembly (KSHA), Hon. Yakub Danladi, of the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) lawmaker representing Ilorin East and Ilorin South’s state constituency, Hon.Abdulazeez Hassan Elewu that was sacked one month ago by the Court of Appeal.
Elewu, in spite of his removal by the Court of Appeal over his eligibility as the APC’s candidate during the last general election, has been attending legislative sitting at the assembly complex.
The Court of Appeal affirmed the election of Abdulraheem Agboola as the lawmaker representing Ilorin East and Ilorin South constituency in the KSHA.
The judgment, which was delivered by Justice Hamman Barkar Hkawu, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue the PDP’s candidate, Agboola, with certificate of return.
The court based its decision on the disputed APC’s primaries which produced Suleiman Abdulsalam and was later replaced with a 28-year-old Elewu.
The Appeal Court held that APC had no valid candidate for the 2019 House of Assembly elections and thereby declared the candidate with the second highest votes, which was the PDP candidate, Agboola, winner of the election.
However, Danladi is yet to swear-in Agboola as lawmaker representing Ilorin East/Ilorin South’s state constituency.
THISDAY checks revealed that the entire move by Agboola to be sworn in as lawmaker proved abortive because Elewu is still in possession of the certificate of return at the expense of winner at the Court of Appeal.
It was alleged that Agboola visited the INEC’s state headquarters in Ilorin to collect the certificate of return to no avail.
It was also learnt that Agboola has been asked to visit the INEC’s national headquarters in Abuja to seek the collection of the certificate of return.
Notwithstanding, a statement issued by the Media Aide of the Speaker of KSHA, Sheriff Ibrahim, said the KSHA would continue to respect the rule of law.
The statement reads: “Consequent upon the controversy generated over news reports about Hon. Abddulazeez Hassan Elewu, member representing Ilorin South constituency at the KSHA, I will like to state as follows:
“That Hon. Abdulazeez Hassan Elewu remains the recognized member, representing Ilorin South constituency, as no other person, except him, has a certificate of return from the INEC before the KSHA.
“That KSHA can only recognize any person with a certified certificate of return, which the report also confirmed, is yet to be issued to anyone else.”
The statement, however, said that “the 9th Assembly leadership, being the custodian of the constitution is a respecter of the rule of law and would do nothing that contravenes the rule of law”.