OPINION: On Kwara Assembly's refusal to swear in lone pdp lawmaker

Date: 2020-10-11

The continued refusal of the Kwara State House of Assembly to swear-in a lone PDP lawmaker even after two court judgements in his favour is quite worrisome.

Mr Jimoh Agboola, who served in the previous assembly, was the candidate of the PDP for the House of Assembly election in Ilorin South Constituency in 2019.

After the March 9, 2019 election, his opponent, Azeez Elewu Oluwanilo of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was declared winner and sworn in. This was, however, contested at the election petition tribunal.

While the election tribunal ordered for a fresh election in Ilorin South constituency, a higher court, the Court of Appeal, declared the PDP candidate as the elected candidate.

Mr Oluwanilo's victory was, however, upturned at the Appellate Court after the judge ruled that he did not submit his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thereby nullifying the certificate of return issued.

This judgement was not obeyed by the state legislative arm despite protests by the aggrieved lawmaker, the Peoples Democratic Party and civil society organisations.

However, in another ruling in July, the Appeal Court ordered the Assembly to swear in the PDP candidate, affirming the similar judgement delivered in November 2019.

But the APC-dominated Kwara Assembly has flagrantly jettisoned the ruling of the court by refusing to swear-in the PDP candidate. This actions of the Kwara lawmakers is an affront on the Rule of Law and setback to our fledgling democracy.

Members of the assembly are supposed to be lawmakers and not law breakers.

If the assembly could flagrantly jettison a ruling of a competent court of law, how then would they expect members of the public to obey whatever laws they choose to make from their chamber?

I therefore urge the Kwara assembly to put aside their political sentiments and do the right thing by swearing-in the lawmaker.

Abdulganiyu Abideen writes from Ilorin

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