The Supreme Court, on Monday, affirmed the election of Jimoh Agboola of the Peoples Democratic Party as a member of the Kwara State House of Assembly.
The assembly had defied multiple court judgments and refused to swear in Mr Agboola, the only lawmaker elected from the opposition party in the 2019 election.
Mr Agboola, who served in the previous assembly, ran again for the Ilorin South state constituency in 2019.
After the March 9, 2019 election, his opponent, Azeez Oluwanilo of the All Progressives Congress (APC) was declared the winner and sworn in. But Mr Agboola contested the outcome of the election at the election petition tribunal.
While the tribunal ordered a fresh election, the Court of Appeal declared the PDP candidate as the elected candidate.
Mr Oluwanilo’s victory was upturned by the appellate court which ruled that he did not submit his name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), thereby nullifying the certificate of return issued.
The assembly did not swear in Mr Agboola after the judgment, despite protests by the lawmaker, his party and civil society organisations.
However, in another ruling in July, the appeal court ordered the Assembly to swear him in, affirming the judgment it delivered in November 2019.
Rather than obey the court, the assembly challenged the ruling at the apex court in Abuja, which on Monday struck out the application.
The judge ruled that the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the appeal.
Reacting, the PDP welcomed to the judgment.
The party, in a statement by its state Chairman, Kola Shittu, commended the apex court for its courage in delivering what it described as “timely ruling against legislative impunity in Kwara State.
“The ruling of the Supreme Court serves as a huge lesson to politicians, political parties and government’s agencies to eschew impunity and always conduct themselves in a manner that is in tandem with the provision of the law.
“The courage displayed by the Supreme Court just like the lower Courts in delivering the ruling at this critical time in our state has also restored the confidence of Kwarans in the institution of the Judiciary and our democratic order.”
The Kwara Assembly is now expected to obey the ruling following the decision of the apex court.
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