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    Tension In Ekiti Over Speaker’s Refusal To Swear-In Lawmaker-Elect

    An interest group in Ekiti PDP, Ado Ekiti Progressive Movement (APM), has called on the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Kola Okuwawole to obey the court order and inaugurate Toyin Obayemi with immediate effect in line with the verdict and prevent anarchy in the state.
    This follows the Speaker’s refusal to inaugurate Obayemi as the member representing Ado Constituency 1 as ordered by the court.

    The Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti in a judgment delivered on July 4 by Justice Taiwo Taiwo sacked Musa Arogundade as the lawmaker and ordered the Speaker to swear in Obayemi immediately because he was the valid candidate for the Assembly poll.

    Obayemi who presented himself for inauguration on August 2 after serving a copy of the judgment and Certificate of Return on the Assembly was blocked from entering the chambers and was bundled out of the complex by security officers on the order of the Speaker.

    The Assembly is believed to be blocking Obayemi’s inauguration on grounds that the PDP had filed a notice of appeal against the judgment which sacked Arogundade from office.

    ‎However, at a meeting held by members of the group at Ado Ekiti Constituency 1 on Saturday on the refusal of the Assembly authorities to admit Obayemi, APM Chairman, Kunle Ogunjobi and Secretary, Ganiyu Ogunado said the rule of law was on trial in the state.

    Ogunjobi stressed that the court order was a declaratory one and cannot be stayed by any notice of appeal.

    He urged Governor Ayo Fayose to intervene in the constitutional crisis and protect the rule of law he (Fayose) benefited from.

    He said: “The Speaker is acting a script because the judgment was declarative and cannot be stayed by any notice of appeal. The tone of the judgment was that Obayemi must be sworn in immediately and the Speaker knows the implication of disobeying court order.

    “We urge the Attorney General of the Federation and security agencies to intervene in the attack on the Constitution and the rule of law going on in Ekiti State and save our democracy. This is a state of learned people like Afe Babalola, Wole Olanipekun and Femi Falana and impunity must not be allowed to fester.”

    Addressing the gathering, Obayemi expressed confidence that he would soon be admitted into the Assembly.

    Obayemi denied allegation in some quarters that he had perfected plans to defect from the PDP calling on Fayose not to listen to those feeding him with lies on the alleged defection plan.

    The legislator-elect condemned a statement allegedly made by the Speaker on Ekiti State Television (EKTV) threatening him to stop his agitation for the validation of his mandate.

    He said: “Disobedience of a court order is a criminal offence; the House Rules cannot supersede the Constitution because Mr. Speaker is claiming that he is acting in compliance with House Rules.

    “I received their Notice of Appeal on August 12 which they filed on August 10, while the Speaker has been claiming that he received the Notice of Appeal on August 2. This shows that he is acting a script and he must remember that he doesn’t have immunity.”
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