Non-adhererence to Court order: Ekiti Speaker risks contempt Charge

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By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti.
Speaker of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Kola Oluwawole may be  slammed with contempt charge for disobeying a court order to swear in a member-elect for Ado Constituency 1,Toyin Obayemi.
Obayemi’s lawyer, Olayinka Sokoya said Oluwawole is running a risk of being committed to prison for holding the court of law in contempt for declining to admit his client as an Assembly member.
The lawmaker-elect, who came to the Assembly complex on Tuesday to present himself for swearing-in having been given the Certificate of Return by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), was disallowed from entering the hallowed chamber.
Oluwawole ordered the Assembly security personnel to order Obayemi to leave the premises after which the two main gates of the complex were shut.
An Ado-Ekiti Federal High Court in a judgment delivered on July 4 by Justice Taiwo Taiwo sacked Musa Arogundade as the lawmaker representing the constituency ordered that Obayemi be sworn in immediately having been found to be the lawful candidate for the April 11 House of Assembly election.
Speaking with journalists on the development on Wednesday, Sokoya claimed that just a month after being sacked from the state parliament by the court, Arogundade is still performing legislative functions including sitting in the hallowed chambers.
The lawyer explained that the court verdict which nullified Arogundade’s election was a declaratory order which cannot be stayed and must be complied adding that if he (Arogundade) had filed an appeal, the order must be carried out.
He said: “The action of the House of Assembly and the Speaker is a flagrant disobedience to the valid order of a court of competent jurisdiction and if a court gives a declaratory order, you must comply with the order even if you are not satisfied with it.
“The Speaker will explain to the court and show cause why he should not be committed to prison for contempt of court and willful disobedience of an order of the court. We are not in a state of nature, we are being governed by the rule of law.
“What happened at the House on Tuesday was a show of shame and nobody can be above the law. We are not folding our arms and we have proceeded to the court to file contempt proceedings against the Speaker.
“If Arogundade wants to go on appeal, he has the legal right to do so but the (July 4) order was a declaratory order, it cannot be stayed; it must be complied with immediately and this man is still sitting in the House contrary to the court order that he must vacate the seat immediately for Obayemi.
“Obayemi is still a card-carrying member of the PDP and Governor Ayo Fayose should lead by example by prevailing on the Speaker and other members to obey the court order. The court had declared Obayemi winner of that seat, the governor should not exercise any fear about the development”.

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