Two Kwara APC Assembly candidates lay claim to victory, want NWC to intervene

Court of Appeal sitting in Ilorin, presided over by Justice Balikis Aliu, has affirmed an appeal filed by an All Progressives Congress (APC) contestant for the Essa/Shawo/Igboidun state constituency of Kwara state, Abdulwaheed Yusuf, challenging the judgement of an Ilorin High Court.

Yusuf had approached the Appeal Court to further pursue his case against the decision of the leadership of the APC in the state for allegedly substituting his name with Maryam Joy Adeniran of the same party in the last House of Assembly elections.

The appellant, who said that he won the party’s primary, argued that the party had replaced his name with another during the presentation of candidates to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

Yusuf said that the INEC should have announced him as the winner of the election, adding that the electoral umpire had declared Adeniran as the winner of the State Assembly election for the Essa/Igboidun/ state constituency.

Speaking on the Appeal Court verdict, counsel to the appellant, Saka Razaq Ayodeji, described the judgement as the wishes of the people and position of the law on the electoral matter.

The counsel, who commended the appellant for being toeing constitution line in his approach to the issue, urged the INEC to obey the court judgement by returning Yusuf mandate to him in line with the court judgement.

Also speaking, Yusuf commended judiciary for standing by the truth, while he commended people of Offa, especially at Essa/Shawo/Igboidun state constituency for their support.

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Meanwhile, a gender-based non-governmental organization, Coalition of Women Associations in Kwara state, has appealed for support of the APC leadership for the only elected female member of the Kwara State House of Assembly, Hon. Mariam Joy Adeniran, to retain her mandate.

Speaking with journalists in Ilorin on Tuesday, spokesperson of the group, Mrs Ayobola Olupinla, in her address said that, “The outcome of the election for the Essa/Shawo/Igbodun Constituency of the Kwara State House of Assembly was keenly contested and won by Hon. Mariam Joy Adeniran to become the only female member-elect of the 24-member Assembly.

“She has been issued Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission, (INEC) and returned elected. With her victory at the poll, Hon. Adeniran’s success represents just 4.16 per cent of the membership strength as against the 20.14 per cent women-membership of the outgoing Assembly where five females are Honourable members.

“You will agree with us that the percentage grossly negates the 35 per cent as recommended by the United Nations (UN) for women slot in elective and appointive positions in governments globally.

“In the just concluded elections in Kwara State, there is no single woman among the six elected members of the Federal House of Representatives; neither is there any female among the three senators-elect.

“Unlike Lagos, Anambra and Plateau states where females are considered to become deputy governors respectively, Kwara State is lagging behind in the area of putting the interest of females in political calculations.

Olupinla, however, stressed that “Our attention has been drawn to an attempt to cause injury on the women folk by struggling to use the court to snatch the mandate of Hon. Mariam Joy Adeniran thereby relegating us to the lowest ebb and allocating zero per cent to females in the incoming lawmaking process.

“While we reject the Appeal Court judgment of April 5, 2019, we call on the national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as well as the State Working Committee of the Kwara APC, to prevail on the plaintiff in the suit seeking to remove the only female member-elect in the Kwara state House of Assembly.

“We believe this is an arrangement possible within the All Progressives Congress (APC) in a bid to seeing the current scenario beyond 2019.

“By this, we plead with the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, Nigeria’s First Lady, Hajia Aisha Buhari, APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, APC National Chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, Kwara APC Chairman, Hon. Bashir Omolaja Bolarinwa, Kwara State Governor-Elect, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq and the APC National Women Leader, Hajia Salamatu Baiwa Umar-Eluma as well as all APC stakeholders across the country to swiftly intervene in this matter.

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