The Appeal Court in Abuja on Friday sacked Hon Kehinde Agboola, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP candidate represents Ikole/Oye Federal Constiuency 1 and replaced him with the All Progressive Candidate (APC), Barrister Owolabi.
The Court has set aside the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja that gave victory to People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Hon. Kehinde Emmanuel Agboola.
The Independent National Electoral Commission had issued Certificate of Return to Hon. Kehinde Emmanuel Agboola of the Peoples Democratic Party as the duly elected candidate for Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1, Oye/Ikole Local Government Areas of Ekiti State.
The issuance of the certificate was in compliance with the ruling and order of the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, which nullified the election of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress in the February 23, 2019 House of Representatives election, Peter Owolabi.
Hon. Bimbo Daramola, an aspirant on the platform of the APC, had filed a pre-election matter before the court, contending that the party did not hold primary election as stipulated by its constitution.
In a judgement delivered on April 16, 2019, the presiding Judge, Bello Kawu, contended that the Court has jurisdiction by virtue of the provision of Section 87(9) of the Electoral Act.
Justice Kawu posited that a political party cannot “act arbitrarily or as it likes” but must follow the provision of its constitution by conducting primary election.
The Judge, therefore, ruled: “Having declared that the nomination of the Defendant is illegal and unlawful, I hereby ordered the 3rd Defendant (INEC) to retrieve the Certificate of Return from the 2nd Defendant (Peter Owolabi) and issue it to the runner up (Hon Kehinde Emmanuel Agboola) in the 2019 House of Representatives election for Ekiti North Federal Constituency 1.”
It will be recalled that Agboola, PDP Rep Member, came second in the election, polling 25,366 votes behind APC’s Peter, who scored 31,532 votes.
The Court of Appeal on Friday judgement stated that the lower court lacks territorial jurisdiction to hear the matter and that the suit was filed out of time.