By Ibraheem Solaudeen.
Hon. Abdulazeez Elewu, has frowned at the ruling of the Court of Appeal which sacked him as the lawmaker representing Ilorin South Constituency in the Kwara State House of Assembly.
Elewu, in a statement made available to reporters argued that he was not a party to the judgement of the appellate court which declared the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Abdulraheem Jimoh Agboola winner of the Ilorin South Constituency election.
The embattled lawmaker insisted that his mandate was not affected by the ruling, therefore, he remains a duly elected member of the State Assembly.
It was gathered that Hon. Elewu had approached the Federal High Court Ilorin, for determination of legality of the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), to withdraw his Certificate of Return and issue a new one to the 2nd runner up in the March 9, 2019 State Assembly election, Abdulraheem Agboola of the PDP.
In an originating summon, with suit number FHC/IL/CS/157/2019, Elewu joined the PDP candidate, the Independent National Electoral Commission, the Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt. Hon. Salihu Yakubu Danladi and the Clerk of the House, Hajia Halima Jumai Kperogi as defendants.
Elewu premised his argument on the fact that in view of the Judgement and Order of the Federal High Court, Ilorin Division of February 27, 2019 in suit number FHC/IL/CS/8/2019; himself (Elewu) being the plaintiff was declared as the lawful and legal candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) for the Ilorin South Constituency in the said suit against another aspirant of the APC, Sulaiman Sheu Abdulsalam.
The lawmaker claimed he partook in the election process from the primaries and won, up till the general election, consequent upon which he was issued Certificate of Return by INEC and sworn in on June 11, 2019 as a legislator in the 9th Kwara Assembly.
He said, he was however, dismayed why another court will rule or order INEC to issue the PDP candidate Certificate of Return, as a result of an Appeal Court Judgement where he (Elewu) was not a party to, when a subsisting Court Judgement/Order declaring him (Elewu) the lawful candidate of the APC hasn’t been set aside.
Elewu argued further that the case, which occasioned the Judgment ordering INEC to issue Certificate of Return to the PDP Candidate, with suit number CA/IL/EPT/SH/2/2019 was between Jimoh Raheem Agboola and Sulaiman Sheu Abdulsalam and two others, which he claimed not to be one of them.
He claimed, that by the virtue of the Judgement and Order of the Federal High Court, Ilorin Division of February 27, 2019, decalring him (Elewu) the lawful and legal candidate of the APC for Ilorin South State Constituency for the March, 2019 election, which was won by his party, APC, he was and remains the duly elected member of the Kwara State House of Assembly.
Elewu equally claimed, in the absence of an Order of a competent court of jurisdiction setting aside the subsisting Order and Judgement of the Federal High Court, Ilorin Division of 27th February, 2019 in suit number FHC/IL/CS/8/2019, pursuant to which he contested, won, given Certificate of Return and subsequently sworn in and inaugurated as a Honourable member of the State Assembly, INEC has no vires and cannot issue or cause to be issued to the PDP Candidate, a Certificate of Return in respect of same election for Ilorin South Constituency.
He further claimed that the decision of the Court of Appeal, Ilorin Division, delivered on November 12, 2019, in Appeal number CA/IL/EPT/SH/2/2019, emanating from petition number KW/ST/EPT/HA/1/2019 to which he was not a party, did not, and cannot affect the mandate given to him by the good people of Ilorin South State Constituency to represent them in the Assembly.
He added that the Appeal Court Judgement delivered in the PDP’s favor, held that since Suleiman Sheu Abdusalam and APC had pleaded that Suleiman was not the APC’s candidate in the election, APC did not have a candidate, without taking into cognizance the High Court judgment and Order, declaring him (Elewu) the lawful and legal candidate of the APC for Ilorin South State Constituency.
He, therefore, prayed that the Federal High Court restrains INEC from issuing Certificate of Return to the PDP Candidate, and that if any Certificate of Return had been issued (to the PDP Candidate), consequent upon the Appeal Court Judgment, such should be declared unlawful, unconstitutional and a violation of people’s mandate freely given to him (Elewu) by the good people of Ilorin South State Constituency, hence, such Certificate of Return issued the PDP Candidate be nullified, canceled or set aside.
He also prayed for a Court Order, restraining the Speaker of the State Assembly and the Clerk from admitting, recognizing, swearing in or inaugurating the PDP candidate as elected representative of Ilorin South State Constituency.
Included in Elewu’s prayer in the suit is for an Order restraining the PDP candidate from presenting, representing or in any manner, making himself available for swearing in or admitted by the Speaker and Clerk of the Assembly.
He equally prayed for a Court Order, directing the Speaker and Clerk to continue to recognize, treat and deal with him as the elected representative of the Constituency.