INEC withdraws certificate of return from Ondo APC lawmaker

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has withdrawn the Certificate of Return issued to Mr Sina Akinwumi of the All Progressives Congress, who had earlier been declared the winner of the March 9, 2019, House of Assembly election, in Okitipupa constituency II.

But following the decision of an Ondo state High Court, he was sacked on the grounds that he did not win the APC primary conducted to select the party candidate.

Instead, the court declared another APC aspirant James Ololade-Gbegudu as the winner the primary, and therefore the authentic candidate of the party during the March 16 state assembly election.

Ololade-Gbegudu had approached the court challenging the candidacy of Akinwunmi and seeking an order to compel the APC and INEC to recognise him as the authentic APC candidate for the constituency.

Following consideration of the prayer and evidences advanced, the court ordered the INEC to issue him the Certificate of Return as the representative of the constituency.

He was accordingly presented the certificate at the Commission’s headquarters, Alagbaka-Akure, along with a letter from INEC chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmood to Akinwumi directing him said to vacate the seat.

It confirmed that the certificate of return earlier issued to Akinwunmi had since been withdrawn.

The Ondo state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Dr Akeju, said the speaker and the clerk of the state House of Assembly had through a letter been directed to comply with the judgement and swear in Gbegudu as a member of the Assembly.”

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