THE Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed Monday FOR the arraignment of Ademola Adeleke, the Osun West Senatorial District at the National Assembly and the People’s Democratic Party’s governorship candidate in the September 22 election and four others over charges of examination malpractices.
The judge, Justice I.E Ekwo, during a brief hearing, which was stalled due to Adeleke’s absence on Monday, directed Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector-General of Police, to ensure all the five defendants were brought to court for arraignment on October 31.
“The prosecution is ordered to ensure the defendants are in court at the next date, to take their plea,” the judge ruled.
The Nigeria Police Force filed the charges of examination malpractice against Adeleke on September 19, three days before the state governorship election and after a certificate forgery suit of him was dismissed in the Osun State High Court.
According to a statement released by the Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, Adeleke had connived with the principal of a secondary school in Osun State to allow him to sit for the 2017 SSCE organised by the National Examination Council (NECO).
President Muhammad Buhari had called on the Police Force to suspend the invitation of the senator until after the election ostensibly to prevent a possible backlash from a weary public that might think the opposition candidate was being harassed.
The prosecutor, Lough, informed the judge on Monday that the matter marked,FHC/ABJ/CR/156/2018, was coming up for the first time on Monday.
The prosecution accused the five defendants of committing examination malpractices by fraudulently, through personation, registering Adeleke and another Sikiru Adeleke, as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, in Ojo-Aro in Osun State, for the National Examination Council’s June/July 2017 Senior School Certificate Examination in February 2017.
The other four accused of malpractices are Sikiru Adeleke, brother to Ademola Adeleke; Alhaji Aregbesola Muftau, the principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School; Gbadamosi Ojo, the registrar of the school; Dare Samuel Olutope, a teacher in the school.
While the four other defendants were present in court on Monday, Adeleke was absent.
Alex Izinyon (SAN), his lawyer informed the judge that the governorship candidate was not in court because of ill health.
Izinyon said, “His Personal Assistant informed me yesterday (Sunday) that he was indisposed because he was stooling. “He sent a sent medical report to that effect.”
He said that Adeleke had served the medical report, showing his client was on medication, on the prosecution. He pleaded with the court to grant a short adjournment to enable the first defendant to recover.
The prosecuting counsel acknowledged that the medical report had been served on him. He also urged the court to grant a short adjournment.
In the Osun governorship election, Adeleke was defeated by Adegboyega Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress’ candidate. However, the PDP’s candidate had filed a petition before the election petition tribunal challenging the cumulative results of the September 22 election and the September 27 re-run declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.