Politics

Appeal Court Judgement: CNPP urges Reps to stop salary of Ekiti PDP lawmaker

Conference of Nigerian Political Parties (CNPP), Ekiti chapter, has appealed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila to order the National Assembly Service Commission (NASC) to withhold payment of salaries and allowances to lawmaker representing Ekiti North federal constituency I, Hon. Kehinde Agboola.

CNPP predicated its request on the appeal court judgement of Friday, June 21, which upheld the primary that produced Mr. Peter Owolabi as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress(APC) for the constituency.

Agboola, who represented the constituency between 2015 and 2019 was defeated by Owolabi in the February 26 , 2019 National Assembly election.

But an APC House of Representatives aspirant, Hon Bimbo Daramola, had approached the Federal High Court in Abuja, urging it to nullify the primary on account of alleged fraud and manipulation of the process to favour Owolabi.

Subsequently, the High Court in its judgement favoured Daramola and ordered INEC to withdraw the Certificate of Return from Owolabi and present same to Agboola, who came second in the election.

Based on the judgement, INEC complied with the ruling and Agboola was among the 360 lawmakers that were sworn in on June 11 at the House of Representatives.

But Owolabi, who proceeded on appeal, on Friday got the lower court judgement reversed, on the premise that Daramola filed the suit out of time and that had rendered it statute barred.

In a telephone conversation with newsman in Ado Ekiti on Saturday, the CNPP Chairman in Ekiti, Deacon Olu Akomolafe, said “ordinarily, if not for the fact that Hon Agboola had been sworn in at the National Assembly, INEC ought to withdraw the certificate from him and return to the original owner.

“But as it stands, pending the time the Supreme Court will dispose off the case, the Speaker must ensure that no salary or allowance is paid to the present occupant, because he remains an illegal occupant until the apex court proves otherwise.”

“It would be an aberration and colossal waste of public funds for Hon. Agboola to be paid now and if the judgement turns out in favour of the APC candidate, then the NASC will be under obligation to pay the original winner”, he stated.

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