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INEC withdraws certificate of return from Ondo APC lawmaker

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The Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has withdrawn the certificate of return of the All Progressives Congress, APC, lawmaker representing Okitipupa Constituency II at the Ondo state House of Assembly, Sina Akinwunmi.

The certificate of return has however been issued to the supposed winner of the APC assembly primary election, James Ololade-Gbegudu, as the lawmaker representing the constituency.

Latestalert gathered that INEC’s decision was in line with the judgement of an Ondo State High Court, which in May 2019, declared Gbegudu as the winner of the party’s primary conducted on October 5, 2018.

Presenting the certificate of return to Gbegudu at the Commission’s headquarters, Alagbaka, Akure, the INEC Chairman, Professor Yakubu Mahmod said a letter had been issued to Akinwumi to vacate the seat with immediate effect while the certificate of return earlier issued to him had since been withdrawn.

Yakubu represented by the Resident Electoral Commissioner in Ondo state, Ambassador Akeju, disclosed that the Speaker and the Clerk of the state House of Assembly had been notified through a letter to comply with the development.

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Commenting on the development, Gbegudu expressed delight that truth had prevailed after several months of injustice to his ambition to represent his people at Okitipupa Constituency II, and promised to serve his constituents diligently.

Ololade-Gbegudu had approached the court through his counsel, Femi Emodamori, to seek an order to compel the party and INEC to recognise his client as the authentic APC candidate for the constituency and not Sina Akinwunmi, having won the party’s primary conducted last year.

According to the judgement delivered by Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe, he held that from all evidence laid before the court by officials of the APC, documentary evidence including the primary election result sheet adduced by Counsel to the plaintiff, Emodamori, showed that Ololade-Gbegudu actually won the APC assembly ticket.

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