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INEC presents certificate of return to APC’s Lagos assembly lawmaker after appeal court victory



Dr Rauf Age Suleiman Lagos State House of Assembly

The Independent National Electoral Commission in Lagos State has presented a certificate of return to Dr Rauf Age-Suleiman, an All Progressives Congress candidate declared winner of the March 18 Amuwo-Odofin Constituency II House of Assembly poll by the Court of Appeal.

INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Prof. Ayobami Salami, while presenting the certificate on Wednesday, urged Mr Age-Suleiman to contribute his quota to the development of his constituency and Nigeria as a whole.

Congratulating the lawmaker, Mr Salami prayed to God to grant the winner “wisdom to do what is right.”

Speaking, Mr Age-Suleiman, who expressed gratitude to God, constituents and party leaders, described his legal victory both at the House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal and Court of Appeal as an act of God.

“Nothing but prayers has made this a possibility. I am happy that I got justice. It is a good thing to vent your grievances about an election in court, and we have got back our victory.

“I will continue to do what my constituents want, and my commitment is to make my people happy,” Mr Age-Suleiman, who is returning to the house for a second term, said.

He urged his opponents to join him in building and moving the constituency forward. The lawmaker promised to continue to support the cause of democracy.

He pledged to be dedicated to the welfare of the people while also providing good representation for them.

According to him, he will continue to visit the people where they live and feel their pulses in all his intervention programmes in the constituency.

Mr Age-Suleiman said that he would provide representation to all constituents regardless of political affiliations and faith.

He urged the constituents to retain their confidence and trust in him.

Also speaking, the APC Chairman of Amuwo-Odofin Local Government Area, Sabitu Abu-Hassan, said that continuity had been of great benefit in the state.

Mr Abu-Hassan said the re-election of Mr Age-Suleiman would bring a great deal of democracy to the constituency.

He described Mr Age-Suleiman as dedicated and a good listener to the people and the party, saying, “He gives things to people without letting other people know.”

The Court of Appeal sitting in Lagos on November 17 sacked the Labour Party’s Olukayode Doherty and declared APC’s Age-Suleiman winner of the election.

The court upheld an earlier ruling by the House of Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal.

The tribunal had ordered the INEC to present the APC candidate with the certificate of return as the winner of the election.

The court of appeal equally held that the Electoral Act 2022 does not allow a candidate to be declared winner if the candidate did not fully participate in the election process.