Governor Adams Oshiomhole
A university lecturer, Professor Philip Agbebaku, has told the Edo Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Benin City that Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State was his classmate at the Blessed Martin Secondary Model School, Jattu, Uzairue, Etsako West Local Government Area from 1963-1965.
This came as Ondo State Governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko, yesterday told the Justice Kaka’an-led Governorship Election Petition Tribunal that the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and three other political parties have no case to proof before the panel.
Agbebaku, who was a witness to the first defendant, Oshiomhole, told the tribunal at its resumed hearing, yesterday, that the governor was known as Adams Aliu when he was in school.
The witness told the tribunal that the governor was then known and addressed as Adams Aliu but was not surprised that he is now known as Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole, saying that people add to or subtract from their names as they grow old, saying that he (witness) was also formerly known as Sunday Phillip Agbebaku, but later dropped the name ‘Sunday’ from his credentials, saying this did not detract from his credentials.
Under cross-examination from the counsel to Major General Charles Airhiavbere, Chief Efe Akpofure (SAN), on whether the results obtained by the governor from Ruskin College, Oxford, the United Kingdom was equivalent to a secondary school certificate, Agbebaku said the courses listed in the certificate were in fact higher than secondary school subjects and were university courses.
He said: “My Lord, Industrial Relations, Industrial Sociology and Industrial Economics are all university courses and are far, far higher than senior secondary school certificate subjects and cannot be taught in a school lower than the equivalent of a university.”
Speaking further, the witness who is an expert in International Relations, told the tribunal that the power to evaluate the equivalent of results or certificates was vested in a section of the Ministry of Education, adding that his academic qualifications as a Professor of note enables him to rate the equivalent of certificates.
He told the tribunal that whatever Airhiavbere told the tribunal was his personal opinion.
He pointed out Governor Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole as the Adams Aliu who was his classmate at Blessed Martins Secondary Model School, Jattu, Uzairue.
On the insinuation by counsel to Airhiavbere that the witness testified for the first petitioner, Governor Adams Oshiomhole, because he wants his wife, Prof. Blessing Agbebaku, to be confirmed as Vice-Chancellor of the state-owned university, Ambrose Alli University, the witness said his wife as a Professor of Law was lecturer to some of the lawyers at the tribunal, and is eminently qualified to be the vice-chancellor of any university in the world.
Further sitting on the matter has been adjourned till January 10, 2013.
Meanwhile, in Ondo State, Mimiko prayed the tribunal to dismiss the petitions of his opposition for lack of merit.
The governor’s position was contained in his replies to the petitions filed by four out of five political parties challenging his victory in the October 20, 2012 gubernatorial election.
ACN, Accord Party (AP), Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) and Peoples Democratic Congress (PDC) had last month approached the tribunal to attack the results of the poll, asking it to nullify the poll and order fresh election.
But Mimiko who is the first respondent in the petitions, prayed the tribunal to throw out the cases for being frivolous, vexatious, patent abuse of court process as well as lacking in merit and substance.
Mimiko’s replies were filed by a former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), leading a 35-man legal team including three other Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Ricky Tarfa, Adebayo Adenipekun and John Baiyeshea as well as Dr Olumide Ayeni and Abayomi Akanmode.
The governor’s 2,318-page reply to ACN’s petition listed 1,047 witnesses to give evidence before the tribunal while that of the Accord Party has 19 pages with three witnesses listed for the defence.
In the case of CPC, Mimiko submitted a reply of 51 pages with four witnesses and filed 29 pages with four witnesses against PDC.
To prove his case at the tribunal, the first Mimiko is relying on Forms EC8A-D, ballot papers and Voters Registers used during the poll, reports of local and international independent observers, reports of local and international media on the conduct of the election as well as video clips and photographs.
The Labour Party under which Mimiko contested the election had earlier filed its reply to the four petitions.