Contempt: Judge orders Ekiti Speaker to appear in court
By Rotimi Ojomoyela
Ado-Ekiti—A Federal High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti has ordered the Speaker of Ekiti State House of Assembly, Kola Oluwawole, to appear before it on December 7 over his refusal to obey the order to swear in legislator-elect, Toyin Obayemi.
Presiding Judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who gave the order at the resumed sitting of the court yesterday, ruled that the Speaker must comply with his order to inaugurate Obayemi as member representing Ado Ekiti Constituency 1 which was delivered on July 4.
Obayemi filed a contempt charge against Oluwawole for disobeying the court order that he (Obayemi) be sworn in immediately as the legislator to replace Musa Arogundade who was removed by the Court and ordered to refund all salaries and allowances collected since June 5 when the fifth assembly was inaugurated.
The court nullified Arogundade’s election and ordered the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue Obayemi a Certificate of Return holding that the latter was not validly nominated by the Peoples Democratic Party for the April 11, 2015 House of Assembly election.
The court also held that Arogundade was never qualified to stand as a candidate at the poll on grounds that he fraudulently obtained an Abuja Federal High Court order to validate his candidacy.
The judge said that court record showed the Speaker has been served Form 49, a notice of why he (Oluwawole) should not be committed to prison for disobeying the order of the court.
Obayemi’s counsel, Olayinka Sokoya, had earlier told the court that he received a letter from the law chambers of a Senior Advocate, Mike Ozekhome, dated November 18, a day after the last day of sitting.
Sokoya explained that Ozekhome who is seeking to take over the defence of Oluwawole is praying the court for an adjournment of the case.
But Justice Taiwo maintained that the proper thing must be done and the court order complied with by the Speaker who he said must consult with his lawyer on the implication of disobeying court order.
He subsequently adjourned the case till December 7 for further hearing.
After adjourning, Justice Taiwo said: “The Speaker must obey the order of this court, the proper things should be done.
”For the avoidance of doubt, the Speaker should consult with his counsel against the next adjourned date most especially as court record shows that he has been served.
“I will never be intimidated by anybody because somebody was here before. Even if I die, the bench lives on.”
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