Appeal Court removes Kogi Assembly Minority Leader, Yori Afolabi

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The minority leader of Kogi state House of Assembly, Solomon Afolabi Oluyori, has been sacked by the Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja.

Solomon represented Ijumu constituency in the state Assembly had contested on the platform of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP), now All Progressives Congress (APC), and subsequently emerged as the minority leader of the House.

But Yakubu Kayode, who claimed he was the rightful candidate of the party, alleged that he was short changed by his party, and dragged the then ANPP, the electoral umpire, INEC and Solomon as 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants respectively, before a Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja.

He alleged that he was wrongfully substituted, having been lawfully elected at the party primary and emerged as the standard bearer of his party.

Delivering judgement on the matter, Justice Inyang Ekwo, entered judgement in favour of the 3rd defendant want. But, on appeal, the Court of Appeal in Abuja upturned the verdict of the Federal High Court in Lokoja, pronouncing that the appeal had merit based on the available facts before it. The presiding judge, Justice Amiru Sanusi, set aside the earlier verdict delivered on September 30, 2011, declaring that the appellant was the rightful candidate of his party in the April, 2011 House of Assembly election for Ijumu Constituency.

He therefore ruled that the, “purported removal of the name of the appellant with that of the 3rd respondent by the 1st and 2nd re- spondents for the purpose of contesting the April, 2011 House of Assembly election is null and void”.

Justice Sanusi subsequently restrained the 1st and 2nd respondents from recognizing any other person beside the appellant as candidate for the House of Assembly poll for Ijumu Constituency.

Speaking in an interview, the lead counsel to the appellant, Mr. Gimba Shaba, expressed gratitude to the court for the well considered judgement, describing the verdict of the court as another victory for democracy.

Meanwhile, the lawmaker apparently undaunted by the judgment, empowered over 500 people in his constituency at the weekend.

He distributed hair dryers, clippers, motor cycles and vehicles tyres, foodstuffs and cash to members of his constituents including widows and orphans.

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