By Ahmed ‘Lateef
The Kwara State House of Assembly yesterday advanced reason why it resisted the pressure to inaugurate a member-elect who is of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for Ilorin South Constituency, Raheem Agboola.
The legislature said the declaration of Agboola as lawmaker-elect is a subject of litigation currently before a court.
The clarification came amidst the inauguration of a member representing Patigi Constituency, Adam Ahmed Rufai, at yesterday’s plenary.
The Speaker, Yakubu Danladi Salihu, performed the brief swearing-in ceremony in the hallowed chamber.
Addressing Press Corps on the alleged refusal of the House to inaugurate the PDP member-elect for Ilorin South Constituency, the Chairman, House Committee on Information, Olumide Awolola, said the house could not inaugurate Agboola due to pending litigation.
He explained that the PDP member-elect did not join the current occupant of the Ilorin South seat, AbdulAzeez Elewu Nilo, in the suit he instituted but an aspirant of the All Progressives Congress (APC), one Sule Cement for the constituency in the last general elections.
Awolola, who insisted that the House had not acted against the judgement of the court, asked parties in the dispute to await latest judicial pronouncement on the matter.
“There is no time that Agboola has taken Nilo to court. But when the case was in favour of Agboola this time around between him and Sule Cement, asking the House of Assembly to replace Nilo, we said he is the authentic candidate.
“He has gone to court and for now, there is a court process. And the house deemed it fit to wait until the court decides on either side”, Awolola said.
Agboola had protested what he described as refusal of the leadership of the state House of Assembly to inaugurate him in line with the judgement of the Appeal Court sacking the current occupant of the Ilorin South Constituency seat in the House, AbdulAzeez Elewu Nilo.
However, the Speaker said the inauguration of the new lawmaker followed his declaration as winner of the bye-election conducted to fill the vacant seat of Patigi Constituency.
Salihu explained that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) subsequently presented certificate of return to Rufai, which he duly submitted to the House.
The Herald reports that the House Leader, Abubakar Olawoyin Mogaji and a member representing Okuta/Yashikira Constituency, Mohammed Baba Salihu respectively, moved and seconded a motion for the swearing in of the new lawmaker.
It would be recalled that the new lawmaker was declared winner during the bye-election held for Patigi Constituency in March to replace his late brother, Saidu Ahmed Rufai, who gave up the ghost December last year.