An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, has sacked a lawmaker-elect, Mr Sina Akinwumi, of the All Progressives Congress.
The court said Akinwunmi was not eligible to contest the House of Assembly election for Okitipupa Constituency 2 as the candidate of the APC because he did not win the primary election conducted by the party.
It declared Mr James Ololade-Gbegudu as the winner of the primary election.
Olalade-Gbegudu had filed a suit challenging Akinwunmi’s candidacy.
He sought an order to compel the APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission to recognise him as the authentic candidate of the party.
He told the court that he won the direct primary election conducted by the party in the constituency on October 5, 2018 with 4,000 votes to beat five other aspirants, including Akinwunmi.
He said despite winning the primary, the party forwarded Akinwumi’s name to the INEC as the party’s candidate.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Olabode Adegbehingbe held that evidence before the court showed that Ololade-Gbegudu won the APC ticket.
He said, “The evidence before me shows that the total number of accredited voters was 7,000 while 6,500 was total valid votes and claimant scored total number of 4,000 votes which was signed by the representative of the APC and INEC.
“So, the claimant is the winner of the primary election of Ondo State House of Assembly for Okitipupa Constituency ll held on October 5,2018.
“Although, Section 87 (4) of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) does not mandate the party to forward names of direct primary election winners to INEC but party might choose to or not to forward such names as candidate.”
Credit: The Punch