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INEC presents certificate of return to Ondo lawmaker, Adefarati

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday presented the certificates of return to the member of the House of Representatives-elect for Akoko South East /South West federal constituency, Adegboyega Adefarati.

The electoral umpire presented the certificate to Adefarati following the decision of the Court of Appeal to uphold the election that produced Adefarati as the winner of the primary election of All Progressives Congress (APC)

Adefarati was presented the certificate by the INEC National Commissioner, Prof. Kunle Ajayi, at the commission’s National Headquarters, Abuja.

It will be recalled that Adefarati who won the February 25, National Assembly election was not issued the certificate of return following an order restraining INEC from recognizing the APC primary.

The electoral umpire removed Adefarati’s name from the published list of House of Representatives members-elect despite polling 25,872 votes to defeat Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Gbenga Kolawole, who scored 18,403 votes.

The INEC, while giving reasons for the delisting said it was due to the court order that invalidated the party’s primary, which produced Adefarati as the candidate for the constituency.

Counsel to Adefarati, Chief Olusola Oke, Alhali Kabir Ajana and Barrister Yinka Orokoto hailed the Court of Appeal verdict validating his nomination.

Irked by the judgement of the lower court, Adefarati approached the Appeal court to challenge the decision of the lower court and contested the February 25th, 2023 election where the party was declared the winner.

The Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, Ondo state capital, however, validated the nomination of Adegboyega Adefarati, as the candidate of the House of Representatives for the party.

Adefarati was confirmed by the party’s candidate in a unanimous judgement by the Appellant Court, saying the lower court erred in nullifying the primary of the APC which declared Adefarati as the winner.

The son of the late governor of the state, Chief Adebayo Adefarati, was declared as the candidate of the APC for the Akoko South West and Akoko South East federal constituencies in Ondo state by the party but a Federal High Court nullified his candidacy in the election.

The Appeal court, in a unanimous judgement, delivered by Justice Yusuf Bashir, said that the lower court lacked jurisdiction to entertain the suit because the originating summon was not properly signed.

According to Justice Bashir, it was a wrong practice to commence the suit with originating summons but instead by writ of summon.

He said that the lower court ought not to have entertained the suit and therefore lacked jurisdiction and locus.

Two aspirants of the party in the primary election for the constituency, Segun Ategbole and John Adanike, had approached the court to challenge the victory of Adefarati.

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