Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Serious Drama as Ekiti Speaker Refuses to Swear in Lawmaker-elect During Plenary

Pure drama took over the Ekiti State House of Assembly when the speaker refused to swear in a lawmaker.
Ekiti State House of Assembly
Mr. Toyin Obayemi, who was declared as the rightful occupant of the Ado Constituency 1 seat by the Federal High Court stormed the Ekiti State House of Assembly to be sworn in immediately but met stiff resistance on Tuesday.
The Speaker of the House, Kola Oluwawole, refused to swear him in.
According to The Punch, Obayemi arrived at the assembly in company with his supporters around 10:30am and went straight to the office of the Clerk, Mr. Tola Esan, to submit the judgement and the subsequent certificate of return issued to him in Abuja by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
But the Speaker refused to perform the swearing-in ceremony with security personnel attached to the assembly preventing Obayemi from entering the chamber where the plenary was taking place.
After an argument ensued, four lawmakers came out and asked him to leave the premises.
The leadership of the Assembly subsequently mobilised policemen to conduct serious check on those entering the Assembly.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo had on July 4 nullified the election of a member of the Assembly, Mr. Musa Arogundade, for not being validly nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party.
Citing Sections 31 and 36 of the Electoral Act, the judge held that Obayemi, having come second in the November 29, 2014 primaries, should have been presented as the candidate of the party after the disqualification of the winner, Mr. Talabi Odunayo.
The judge criticised the PDP for fraudulently acquiring a judgement before Justice Evoh Chukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja through which Arogundade was fielded as a replacement to Talabi in Ado constituency 1.
Obayemi described the speaker’s action as a flagrant abuse of office and contempt of court.
“The judgement delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo was very clear. He pronounced me the candidate and ordered the speaker to swear me in immediately,” he said.

“What the house is doing is tantamount to abuse of position and the speaker is committing contempt of court.  It seems they don’t know the implications of their actions.”
He called on Governor Ayodele Fayose to advise the House to do the needful in the matter.
The Speaker, however, said he declined to swear Obayemi in because there was a subsisting stay of execution and notice of appeal against Justice Taiwo Taiwo’s ruling. 
“The House just must wait until the law courts exhaust their processes before actions can be taken,” he said.

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