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Kwara: PDP kicks as Appeal Court reverses sack of APC lawmaker

The Court of Appeal has upturned the judgement of the tribunal on the election of Rukayat Shittu representing Owode/Onire in the Kwara State House of…

The Court of Appeal has upturned the judgement of the tribunal on the election of Rukayat Shittu representing Owode/Onire in the Kwara State House of Assembly.

Shittu, the 26-year-old candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), who made waves as the youngest lawmaker in March, had defeated her opponent, Magaji Abdullahi.

But her victory was challenged at the election tribunal sitting in Ilorin by the PDP candidate.

The tribunal in its judgement, had cancelled election results in five polling units and ordered a rerun, a decision that was challenged by Rukayat at the Appeal Court.

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But on Tuesday, the Court of Appeal, upturned the decision of the lower court, declaring that Shittu was legitimately elected.

Also annulled by the Appeal Court was the election of Taiye Afolabi, who was the only PDP state lawmaker, with his APC opponent, Musa Yusuf Atoyebi, declared the ‘real winner’ in Odo-Ogun constituency.

With the development, the APC now has all the lawmakers in the 24-member state House of Assembly.

Speaking on her victory, Shittu said the judgement finally ended the political tussle for her to concentrate on the business of representation.

But the state PDP has condemned the appeal court’s rulings, calling them a gross miscarriage of justice.

The state Publicity Secretary, Olusegun Olusola Adewara told our correspondent on Wednesday that the party was consulting its lawyers while expressing readiness to petition the National Judicial Council (NJC).

“Kwara State PDP, condemns the Court of Appeal judgement that sacked Otunba Taiye Afolabi in its entirety.

“It is a gross miscarriage of justice and it has shown that our democracy is under threat through the judiciary which ought to be the hope of the common.

“It is therefore wrong and reprehensible for any judge to seek to take away the mandate of the people through frivolous reasons of including Otunba in his name, Otunba is a title, not a name.

“The reason why the court annulled Otunba Afolabi’s victory was because in his documents with INEC, he was referred to as Otunba Taiye Afolabi and the judge now said because his academic certificates do not feature ‘Otunba’, he has taken a decision to annul his victory.

“Otunba is a title. We expect that the judiciary will rise above this pettiness. We are going to petition NJC and internationally recognized bodies that can help us right this wrong,” he said.

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