INEC withdraws certificate of return from lawmaker

INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu
INEC Chairman, Mahmood Yakubu

The Independent National Electoral Commission has withdrawn the Certificate of Return issued to Sina Akinwumi (APC), earlier sworn in to represent Okitipupa Constituency II in the Ondo State House of Assembly.

The certificate was on Tuesday reissued to James Ololade-Gbegudu, also of the APC, having been declared by the court as the winner of the party’s House of Assembly primaries held in October 2018.

Despite the outcome of the primaries, Mr Akinwumi was declared as the party’s candidate for the election.

The withdrawal of the certificate was on the strength of Mr Ololade-Gbegudu’s prayers at the court, seeking to be declared the authentic candidate of the APC in the March 9, 2019 election.

Presenting the certificate of return to Mr Ololade-Gbegudu at the commission’s headquarters in Akure, the INEC Resident Electoral Commisioner said a letter had been issued to Mr Akinwumi to vacate the seat at House of Assembly with immediate effect while the Certificate of Return earlier issued to him had since been withdrawn.

“The Speaker and the Clerk of the state House of Assembly have been ordered through a letter to comply with the judgement and swear in Gbegudu as a member of the Assembly,” he said.

Mr Ololade-Gbegudu, in his reaction, said he was happy that justice had been done and the truth had prevailed after several months of injustice.

He promised to dedicate himself to the service of his constituents.

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