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After identifying authentic winner of Ondo APC primary, Court refuses to sack lawmaker-elect

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An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure has proclaimed Mr. James Ololade-Gbegudu as the victor of the All Progressives Congress, APC, House of Assembly essential race for Okitipupa Constituency II.

Mr. Ololade-Gbegudu had moved toward the Court to look for a request to urge the gathering and INEC to remember him as the valid APC contender for the body electorate and not the legislator chooses, Mr. Sina Akinwunmi, having won the gathering’s essential directed on October 5, 2018.

Conveying his judgment that kept going over two hours, Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe held that all proof laid under the watchful eye of the Court by authorities of the APC, narrative evidence including the essential decision result sheet illustrated by Counsel to the offended party, Mr. Femi Emodamori, demonstrated that Ololade-Gbegudu really won the APC get together ticket.

In spite of the judgment, Justice Adegbehingbe, in any case, declined to concede different reliefs of the offended party that declaration of return prior issued to Mr. Sina Akinwunmi be pulled back and issues to him, expressing that the Court couldn’t constrain the APC to perceive the offended party as its real contender for the March 9, 2019, State Assembly surveys.

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The Court likewise decided that Gbegudu’s case was not documented out of time and not status banned, taking note of what the suit expedited December 22, 2018, was still inside 14 days permitted by the 1999 Constitution (as corrected).

The judge said area 87(4) of the Electoral Act (as altered) did not order the gathering to advance names of Direct Primary decision champs to INEC, including that the group may decide not to develop such names as hopeful.

As per the Court, it couldn’t have any significant bearing Section 87(3) of the Act which just arrangements with Indirect essential, noticing that there was no specialist to be referred to on the part of victors of gathering’s immediate essential whose names were not sent to INEC.

Likewise expelled was the protest of the respondents that Gbegudu’s case was recorded out of time and resolution banned, including that the suit was expedited December 22, 2018, was still inside the 14 days permitted by the 1999 Constitution (as corrected).

Remarking on the decision, Counsel to the offended party, Mr Femi Emodamori said his customer would approach the redrafting court to arrange INEC to pull back the endorsement of return issued to Akinwunmi and release it to Gbegudu as the bona fide APC competitor since the High Court had asserted him as the champ of the essential race hung on October 5, 2018, and seen by INEC authorities.

The litigants in the suit incorporated the APC Ondo State Chairman, Engr. Ade Adetimehin, the gathering’s State Secretary, Sina Alaye, INEC, and the legislator choose, Sina Akinwunmi Emmanuel.

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Ololade-Gbegudu, in the suit, said he initiated the case after APC, and its officers wouldn’t send his name to INEC in accordance with the 2010 Electoral Act having won the essential which was led by APC on October 5, 2018, and appropriately checked by the authorities of INEC driven by Etukumo U. Andrew, policemen and the Department of State Services, DSS, workforce.

Through his attorney, he had encouraged the Court to pronounce as illicit and unlawful the substitution of the petitioner’s name with Akinwunmi’s name and constrain INEC to perceive an issue testament of coming back to Gbegudu as the APC possibility for the Okitipupa Constituency II in the 2019 State House of Assembly race.

The Claimant affirmed that he won the immediate essential for the Constituency for the Ondo State House of Assembly with 4,000 votes to beat five different wannabes including Akinwunmi Emmanuel.

The Plaintiff’s lead Counsel, Femi Emodamore, stated, “the Claimant further affirms that the all-out number of licensed voters at the said direct essential race as recorded by the delegates of the first Defendant (APC) were 7,000 while the absolute legitimate votes were 6,500, out of which he scored the 4,000 because of his mind-boggling prevalence at the supporters and was proclaimed victor of the essential.”

Emodamore asserted that “the fourth Defendant (Akinwunmi) scored zero (0) as bore witness to by the APC Ondo State Legislative Primaries Election Committee. The Claimant will in such manner depend on the first Summary Result Sheet for State House of Assembly properly marked by Abuh Andrew Abuh and Ahmed Musa Momoh as the Chairman and Secretary of the APC Ondo State Legislative Primaries Election Committee separately and given to every one of the hopefuls, including the Claimant.”

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The Lawyer further affirmed that “the diluted outcome, the name of the Claimant (Gbegudu Ololade James) is as yet unmistakable in the accreditation segment at the base of the Result Sheet as the champ. The Claimant’s name was anyway just crossed out with a biro/pen (not even totally cleaned or obscured out with paint) and over it was written in ink the words: WINNER-SINA AKINWUMI EMMANUEL, as against the best possible confirmation segment previously imprinted in the Result Sheet.”

Emodamore stated, “a request of required order coordinating the fifth Defendant (INEC) to perceive, distribute as well as treat the name of the Claimant as the hopeful of the first Defendant (APC) for the Okitipupa Constituency II of the Ondo State House of Assembly for the general race for the said voting demographic seat planned to hang on 2/3/2019 or such different date(s) as the fifth Defendant may fix for the decision.”

The Court concurred with the contention of the offended party’s Counsel and maintained the entries particularly as respect the consequence of the crucial decision.

Insight to INEC, Bukola Durojaye and that of the APC, Tajudeen Oyerinde communicated fulfillment with the judgment.