…Senator, 4 others face exam malpractices charge
…WAEC clears Sen Adeleke over certificate forgery
About 72 hours to Osun State governorship election on Saturday, President Muhammadu Buhari, has ordered the police not to invite the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the poll, Senator Ademola Adeleke, until after the election.
Sources at the Presidency disclosed the development in Abuja on Wednesday.
The Nigeria Police had on Wednesday filed charges of alleged examination malpractice, criminal conspiracy and impersonation against Senator Adeleke and four others.
The accomplices charged with Adeleke at the Federal High Court in Abuja are Mr. Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Egbedore LGA, Osun State), Mr. Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (School Staff responsible for the registration of candidates for NECO) and Mr. Dare Olutope (School Teacher who facilitated the commission of the crime).
Besides examination malpractice, criminal conspiracy, impersonation, the accomplices were also charged with breach of duty, aiding and abetting.
The Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, who disclosed this on Wednesday at a press conference in Abuja, stated that on 21st July 2017, the Osun State Police Intelligence Bureau (SIB) acted on an actionable intelligence that unraveled the crime of examination malpractice committed by Senator Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke at Ojo/Aro Community Grammar School in Osun State.
He said, “When the Police operative arrived at the school, only Sikiru Adeleke was found seated for the examination while Senator Ademola Adeleke seat was vacant and was suspected to have escaped before the arrival of the Police operatives.”
Further investigation, police stated “revealed that both Senator Ademola Adeleke and his brother, Sikiru Adeleke registered and were sitting for the National Examination Council (NECO) 2017 as internal candidates, impersonating students of the school at the ages of 57 years and 42 years respectively.
“This crime was facilitated by the principal of the school and two other members of staff of the school for which they are under investigation and being charged to court.
“The Principal of the school, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau, the staff responsible for registration, Mr. Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo and a teacher, Mr. Dare Olutope were arrested on July 21, 2017.
Senator Ademola Adeleke was arrested on July 27, 2017 and Sikiru Adeleke was arrested on August 8, 2017 over the crime.
“Senator Adeleke made cautionary statement and admitted that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school but he didn’t sit for the examination.
“However, Police investigation revealed that the suspects were culpable of the alleged crime.”
According to the Police, “Senator Adeleke therefore made cautionary statement and admitted that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school and did not sit for the examination but has a result from NECO with Seven (7) Credit and One (1) Pass.
“The Ojo/Aro 2017 NECO, SSCE school photo album (School’s copy), with Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke photographs in school uniform in the said album.
Senator Adeleke in the NECO 2017 Result he obtained, claimed that he was born on 12th June 1997 but in his statement to the Police, Senator Adeleke wrote 13th May 1960 as his date of birth.
The school album also showed the photographs of both Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke appearing side by side in the photo album with no NECO stamps on them.”
Moshood said that Senator Adeleke and four others were consequently arrested, investigated, granted bail but now have being charged to court.
He advised Adeleke and four other suspects to in their own interest report to the Special Investigation Panel, Force Headquarters, Abuja immediately for arraignment in court.
Reacting swiftly to the invitation of Senator Adeleke, the PDP has cautioned the Police to desist from acting the script of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against its governorship candidate.
The party described the latest twist in the Adeleke Certificate Circus, leading to laughable trumped-up charges by the Police, as “horrible, nauseating and displeasing”.
The party said the sudden realisation of allegations that Adeleke was involved in a National Examination Council (NECO) exam malpractice in 2017, as well as his subsequent invitation by the police, barely two days before the governorship election, is a ploy by the APC to distract the PDP candidate and if possible, put him out of circulation before and during the election.
It said, “While the PDP is in no way against any legitimate effort by any security agency in the discharge of its duties, we totally reject this unrelenting attempt to use trumped up charges to take down our candidate, simply because the APC has realised that he is coasting to victory.
“Perhaps, the police needs to be educated that the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has already confirmed that Senator Adeleke wrote his WAEC examination in 1981, thus ending the earlier unnecessary controversy about his WAEC status.
“Moreover, this is the same police that have not been able to invite the disgraced erstwhile Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, who confessed to having a forged NYSC Exemption Certificate or the Special Assistant to the President on Prosecution and Chairman of the Special Investigative Panel for the Recovery of Public Property, Chief Okoi Obono-Obla, whose certificate, WAEC openly told the National Assembly, is fake.
“More so, there are several leaders in APC, whose certificates have been questioned and which the Police have not considered it needful to conduct the littlest investigation”, said PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The PDP called on the Inspector General of Police to protect the integrity of the Force by immediately calling his officers hounding Senator Adeleke to order.
Also, the PDP alleged that the APC-led Federal Government as well as Osun State are paying policemen deployed for election assignment in Osun State between N50,000 to N250,000, as inducement, to assist the APC in its plot to suppress a free, fair and credible governorship election on Saturday.
The party warned that any policeman or security officer that allows the ruling APC to pitch him or her against the people in the September 22, 2018 Osun Governorship election would have him or herself to blame.
“Nigerians, particularly, the people of Osun State, can easily see through the attempt to use the subterfuge of a huge election duty allowance to entangle our security officers and use them against the people.
“The Osun people are already in the know of how the policemen are being instructed to aid the APC in its bid to manipulate the electoral process and to be harsh to PDP supporters and voters in PDP strongholds across the state”, alleged the party in a statement by Ologbondiyan.
The party said though it has nothing against any effort to effectively mobilise security officials for the election, it totally rejects the plot by the APC to use the payment as inducement to manipulate the election.
The party added that “it is instructive to let the APC and the compromised security and INEC officials to know that the Osun people are already at alert; they are very anxious about this election and are fully rallied to use all legitimate means allowed in the defence of their mandate against violent assaults.
“Osun is a stronghold of the PDP and our candidate, Ademola Adeleke, remains the most popular candidate in this election.
The PDP will therefore not accept anything short of a free, fair and credible election where the people are allowed to chose their leader, unhindered and where all votes count.
“The Osun people are ready to vote and to protect their votes to the very end irrespective of the machinations of the APC”.
The PDP cautioned police officials to be on the side of the people, fairness and credible process and to learn from past experiences, where security officials who allowed themselves to be pitched against the people in elections, faced very dire consequences.
In a related development, the West African Examination Councils (WAEC) has cleared Senator Adeleke of certificate forgery filed against him by two plaintiffs at the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Abuja.
Adeleke is one of the four top contestants in Saturday, September 22, 2018 Osun State governorship election.
WAEC in an affidavit deposed to by one Osindeinde Henry Sunday Adewunmi and filed at the registry of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, confirmed that the PDP gubernatorial candidate sat for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination in May/June 1981.
In the four-paragraph affidavit filed in compliance with the order of Justice Othman Musa directing the examination body to supply the court with particulars of the said Adeleke in the 1981 examinations, WAEC confirmed that Adeleke sat for the examination at Ede Muslim High School situate at Yidi Road, Ede, Osun State with centre number 19645.
The deponent, the Deputy Registrar/Head of School Examination Department, also attached the ledger containing the names and results of all the candidates from number 001 to 221 who sat for the secondary school certificate examination in the said school.
The certified true copy of the ledger, however, indicated that Senator Adeleke, who currently represents Osun West senatorial district in the Senate, sat for only English Language in the examination.
Two plaintiffs: Wahab Adekunle Raheem and Adam Omosalewa Habeeb, had dragged the PDP candidate before an Abuja High Court praying the court for an order to disqualify him from participating in the September 22 governorship election in Osun State on the grounds that he was not having requisite education qualification.
The plaintiffs in an ex-parte application argued by their counsel, Mr. Bankole Joel Akomolafe, on September 11 had claimed that the PDP candidate did not sit for the WAEC examination in 1981 because the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination had not been introduced in the country as of 1981.
They further alleged that the National Examination Council (NECO) examination which Adeleke claimed he sat for was not genuine because NECO had not been established at the time Adeleke claimed to have sat for the examination.
The Plaintiffs therefore prayed the court to restrain Adeleke from parading himself as the governorship candidate of PDP in the coming Saturday’s gubernatorial election.
They also prayed the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from recognising Adeleke as a candidate in the governorship election.
Justice Musa had in his ruling on the ex-parte application on September 11 refused to bar Adeleke and also refused to make any order against INEC but however, ordered Adeleke to appear before the court on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 to show cause on why he should not be disqualified from participating in Saturday’s gubernatorial election.
The judge also ordered WAEC to swear to affidavit to confirm or deny participation of Adeleke in the 1981 WAEC examination and to also make available to the court the ledger containing names and results of candidates for 1981 WAEC examination.
In response to the court order, WAEC admitted that the PDP candidate actually sat for the SSCE in 1981.
The case, however, was not heard on Wednesday because Justice Musa was absent in court, thus forcing the counsel to pick next week Tuesday for hearing.
However, counsel to Adeleke, Mr. Nathaniel Oke (SAN), while reacting to the findings of WAEC at the court premises, told newsmen that the case of the plaintiffs had died.
He further said that he was happy with the finding as it will enable his client to comfortably participate in Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State.
Counsel to the plaintiffs, Mr. Bankole Joel Akomolafe, also reacting, confirmed that WAEC has served his clients with its response.
In related development, the Force headquarters on Wednesday clarified the N50, 000 paid to constables on election duty in Osun State, saying it is their duty tour allowance (DTA) for 10’days.
A statement signed by Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, categorically refuted the media story on the N50, 000 allowance as “absolutely misleading and an outright misinformation.”
Though it stated that the Federal Government did not pay such an amount as claimed in the report, Moshood maintained that payment “is statutory and transparent in line with the Financial Regulations and Public Service Rules as it has to do with Duty Tour Allowance.”
“To further disabuse the minds of members of the public who must have read the report and correct the mischief by the writers of the story, the following is the breakdown of the Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) entitlements paid to Police Officers and Men deployed for election duty in Osun State and other previous Gubernatorial elections held in Edo, Ondo, Anambra and Ekiti states.”
“i. Ranks and File (Constable to Sergeant) – N5, 000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N50, 000
ii. Inspector to Chief Superintendent of Police – N12, 000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N120,000
iii. Assistant Commissioner of Police – Assistant Inspector General of Police – N16, 000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N160,000
iv. Deputy Inspector General of Police – N20,000 DTA per Day X 10 Days = N200,000”, he stated.
He advised the public to “check what the Public Service Rules and Financial Regulations provide for every police personnel deployed for special duty, Election Duty and other ad-hoc duties as Duty Tour Allowance (DTA).”