The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the removal of a member of the Ondo State House of Assembly, representing Okitipupa constituency 11, Mr. Sina Akinwumi.
The apex court, therefore, upheld the judgment of the Court of Appeal sitting in Akure that set aside the election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) lawmaker.
The Supreme Court panel, which was presided over by Justice Mary Peter-Odili, unanimously validated the issuance of the certificate of return to James Ololade-Gbegudu by INEC as the authentic lawmaker representing the constituency, for winning the APC primary.
Ololade-Gbegudu had approached the court through his counsel, Mr. Femi Emodamori, to seek an order to compel the party and INEC to recognise him as the authentic APC candidate for the constituency and not the lawmaker-elect, Mr. Sina Akinwunmi, having won the party’s primary conducted on October 5, last year.
The apex court ordered the Speaker of the Assembly and the Clerk to immediately swear-in Gbegudu as the new lawmaker for the constituency.
The Ondo State High Court had on May 15, this year declared Gbegudu as the winner of the party’s primary conducted on October 5, last year.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC had withdrawn the certificate of return issued to Akinwunmi and issued fresh certificate to Gbegudu in line with the court’s judgment.