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Tribunal sacks Ondo PDP House of Reps member over dual citizenship

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The Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Wednesday nullified the election of Hon. Ikengboju Gboluga, representing Okitipupa/Irele Federal constituency in the Federal House of Representatives on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The court nullified the election of Gboluga for swearing his allegiance to the United Kingdom, having acquired the citizenship of the country.

The court also declared Albert Akintoye of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as winner of the election and ordered INEC to issue Certificate of Return to Akintoye after withdrawing same from Gboluga.

Mr Gboluga was in April declared the winner of the election on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

But the APC candidate challenged the declaration on the grounds that Mr Gboluga holds United Kingdom citizenship in contradiction to the relevant laws of the country, particularly section 66(1) of the 1999 Constitution.

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The tribunal ruled that the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Albert Akintoye, who was the first runner-up, be declared the winner of the election.

The tribunal concluded that the petitioner successfully proved that Mr Gboluga was a citizen of the United Kingdom and was thus ineligible to run for political office in Nigeria.

The Ondo State APC Chairman, Ade Adetimehin, in his reaction to the judgment, described it as a victory for the party and a boost to its chances in subsequent elections.

However, Olumide Ogunje, counsel to Mr Ikengboju, said his client would appeal the judgement.

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