By Victor Olakiitan in Ado Ekiti
Reprieve yesterday came the way of the embattled Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ekiti State, Dr. Tope Aluko, as an High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti quashed a warrant of arrest issued against him in a perjury case against him by the state government.
Following allegation that he recanted on the earlier testimony given in court in support of the election of Governor Ayodele Fayose during the June 21 governorship poll, state government through the Office of the Attorney General on February 3 secured the bench warrant seeking Aluko’s arrest .
An Ado Ekiti Chief Magistrate’s Court presided over by Mr. Adesoji Adegboye, granted the order.
Having got the arrest warrant, the government approached the Magistrate’s Court, seeking an order compelling the Police to arrest Aluko for allegedly lying on oath that Fayose’s election was rigged.
But the High Court presided over by Justice John Adeyeye set aside the bench warrant issued by the Magistrate’s Court following the hearing of a motion ex-parte filed and sworn to by Fayose’s aide, Lere Olayinka.
The case with Suit Number HAD/191M/2016 has Attorney General of Ekiti State as Applicant while the Commissioner of Police is the Respondent.
The application was seeking an order of the Court granting leave for the applicant to apply for the issuance of prerogative writ of mandamus to compel the respondent to discharge its statutory duty to arrest and investigate Aluko for alleged perjury and be made to face trial as a result of the investigation.
But Justice Adeyeye, according to an Enrolment of Order received in Ado Ekiti on Friday nullified the bench warrant issued by the Chief Magistrate’s Court on ground that motion was not filed within three amounts allowed by law after Aluko had given evidence before the Tribunal.
Justice Adeyeye ruled: “This application was brought pursuant to Order 40 of the High Court of Ekiti State Civil Procedure Rules.
“Order 40 Rules (4) provides as follows: An application for judicial review shall be brought within three months of the date of occurrence of the subject of application.
“Since Dr. Temitope Aluko was alleged to have committed the offence of perjury when he testified before the Election Petition Tribunal on 12/11/2014, the subject matter of the application is clearly a period of more than three months stipulated by Order 40 Rule (4).
“The application having been brought outside the period stipulated by the Rules of this Court, in my humble view, is incompetent. It should be dismissed. I hereby dismiss it.”