- I ‘ve faith in judiciary, says senator
Alex Enumah in Abuja and Yinka Kolawole in Osogbo
The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the recent Osun State governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, has been granted bail on self recognisance by the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
This development is coming as Adeleke has reaffirmed his faith in the Nigerian judiciary, describing the institution as a ‘citadel for justice seekers’
Senator Adeleke; his brother, Sikiru Adeleke, and three others were wednesday arraigned on a four-count charge of examination malpractices.
The others are; Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal, Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro Osun State); Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (school Registrar), and Dare Samuel Olutope (a teacher).
Upon their arraignment yesterday by the federal government, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Counsel to Senator Adeleke, Chief Alex Izinyon (SAN), informed the court of a bail application dated and filed on October 12, 2018.
He informed the court that Senator Adeleke is currently enjoying administrative bail granted him by the police and has not jump bail since, adding that Adeleke is a serving Senator and would always appear in court for his trial if released on bail. Similarly, counsel to the second and third defendants, Nathaniel Oke (SAN), and Abdulsalam Abdulfatah, respectively moved the bail applications for their client, while the court declined attempt by Oke to move an oral application for the 4th and 5th defendants.
However, prosecution counsel, Simon Laugh did not oppose the bail applications.
In a short ruling, trail judge, Justice I. E. Ekwo who noted that bail is at the discretion of the court, granted the applications as prayed, adding that the prosecution while not opposing the motion admitted that the defendants are all on administrative bail.
Consequently, the judge announced bail for Adeleke in the sum of self recognisance while the 2nd and 3rd defendants are in the sum of N2 million each.
Senator Adeleke, as part of his bail conditions shall sign an undertaken to always attend trial and shall not travel out of the country without the permission of the court.
The second and third defendants on their part are to provide a surety each in the sum of N2 million.
The sureties in addition shall be owners of landed property in Abuja, which shall be verified by the registrar of the court.
They are also to submit their international passports to the court and can only travel out of the country upon obtaining permission from the court.
However, Justice Ekwo ordered the remand in prison custody of the 4th and 5th defendants, Gbadamosi Ojo (school Registrar) and Dare Olutope (a teacher), since they did not apply for bail.
He subsequently adjourned till December 17, 18 $ 19 for trial.
In the charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/156/2018, the defendants are accused of fraudulently, through personation, registering as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro Osun State to enable them sit for the National Examination Council (NECO) examination of June/July 2017.
In the first count preferred against the defendants, the prosecution alleged that the five defendants “conspired to commit felony, to wit: examination malpractices, and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 10 of the Examination Malpractices Act Cap E15 LFN 2004”.
In count 2, the prosecution alleged that the three members of staff of the school acted in concert by aiding and abetting “the commission of examination malpractice by personation” when they allegedly “registered Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke” while knowing or having “reasons to believe that they are not students of the school”.
The alleged offence was said to be contrary to Section 9(1) of the Examination Malpractices Act Cap E15 LFN 2004.
In count three, the two Adelekes were accused of acting in concert, and “personated as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School when you fraudulently registered as students of the school in the June/July, 2017 NECO”.
The offence is said to be contrary to Section 3(2) of the Examination Malpractices Act Cap E15 LFN 2004.
The fourth count accused the three members of staff of the school of “acting in concert” and while “saddled with the responsibilities of registering students of your school in the June/July 2017 NECO examination, breached that duty by registering Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke as students of your school in the June/July 2017 NECO examination when you know or had reasons to believe that they are not students of the school”.
The fourth count was said to be contrary to Section 10(a) and punishable under Section 3(2) of the Examination Malpractices Act Cap E15 LFN 2004.
Meanwhile, Adeleke has reaffirmed his faith in the Nigerian judiciary, describing the institution as a ‘citadel for justice seekers’
Speaking while receiving a group of Osun State indigenes who paid him a solidarity visit in Abuja, Adeleke said the judiciary is a stabilising and balancing institution which strengthens democracy and enhances good governance.
“I have faith in the judiciary to do justice not just in the case at the tribunal but in all cases, “,he told the visiting group.
While urging his supporters and people of Osun State to remain calm,Adeleke said he remained resolute in his committment to retrieve the stolen mandate of Osun people, noting that “by God’s grace ,we shall triumph.
“I appeal to our people to remain calm and law abiding .We are before the tribunal and we trust in God that justice will be done.Our legal team are on top of all issues and cases”,he stated.
Speaking earlier, the leader of the team, Alhaji Ademola Folorunso, said they came to associate with the Senator and to encourage him not to relent in pursuance of the stolen mandate.
“We are Osun professionals here in Abuja. Our visit is to assure him of our continued support as we enter the legal phase.We voted for him and we know he will soon assume the governorship of the state,” Folorunso said.