A Federal High Court in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday ordered the Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Kola Oluwawole, to appear before it on December 7 to explain why he should not be committed for contempt after he refused to obey an order by the court to swear in a member-elect, Toyin Obayemi.
The Judge, Taiwo Taiwo, ruled that the Speaker must comply with his order to inaugurate Mr. Obayemi as member representing Ado Ekiti Constituency 1, which was delivered on July 4.
He said failure to comply with the order would result in appropriate steps by the court to protect its integrity and powers.
Mr. Obayemi is preferring a contempt charge against the House Speaker, for
disobeying the court order that he be sworn in.
Mr. Obayemi is expected to replace Musa Arogundade who was removed by the
court. The court ordered Mr. Arogundade to refund all salaries and allowances collected since June 5 when the Fifth Assembly was inaugurated.
The court, while annulling Mr. Arogundade’s election, ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to issue Mr. Obayemi a Certificate of Return.
“The Speaker must obey the order of this court, the proper things should be done,” the judge said.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Speaker should consult with his counsel against the next adjourned date most especially as court record shows that he has been served.
“I will never be intimidated by anybody, somebody was here before. Even if I die the Bench lives on.”
He subsequently adjourned the case till December 7 for further hearing.
Earlier, the counsel to the member-elect, Olayinka Sokoya, told the court that he received a letter from the law chambers of a Senior Advocate, Mike Ozekhome, dated November 18, a day after the last day of sitting.
Mr. Sokoya explained that Mr. Ozekhome, who is seeking to take over the defence
of Mr. Oluwawole, is praying the court for an adjournment of the case.