The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 2018 Osun State governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke, yesterday told the Court of Appeal in Abuja that he did not forge the West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate he presented to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to get clearance for the poll.
Senator Adeleke insisted at the appellate court that the certificate he attached to his nomination Form CF 001 was lawfully issued to him and was confirmed by WAEC in its affidavit which it submitted as evidence to the Federal Capital Territory High Court in the Bwari area of Abuja.
He, therefore, asked the court to set aside the judgment of Justice Oathman Musa of an Abuja High Court which ‘erroneously’ held that his certificate was forged as alleged by two chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Adeleke told the three-man panel of the court headed by Justice Adamu Jauro that what he presented to the electoral body to secure qualification for the governorship election was exactly what the examination body presented before the lower court when it was ordered to do so by Justice Musa.
He said the results, scores, and content in both certificates were the same, adding that the only difference was the format in which it was presented.
He further told the appellate court that Justice Musa erred in law when he ignored the document which he had ordered WAEC to present before the court, with which he arrived at his decision that Senator Adeleke did not possess the requisite academic qualification for the office of governor.
He added that there was no case of non-qualification or forgery against the lawmaker before the lower court.
Similarly, the PDP in its own appeal through its counsel, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem, urged the appellate court to dismiss the suit for being incompetent and statute barred.
He said the suit was in violation of the Fourth Alteration Act to the 1999 Constitution, having not been filed within the 14 days allowed by law.
According to the PDP’s legal adviser, the suit was filed 44 four days after the cause of action had arisen, while judgment was delivered outside the 180 days prescribed by law for a pre-election matter.
On their part, the two respondents through their counsel, Mr. Joel Akomolafe, urged the court to uphold the judgment of the lower court.
Akomolafe argued that the appellants did not appeal the issue of jurisdiction at the lower court.
He informed the court that the trial court had dismissed Senator Adeleke and PDP’s motion challenging jurisdiction, on the grounds that it was canvassed late in the trial.
After taking arguments from all parties in the suit, the three-man panel of the appeal court led by Justice Adamu Jauro reserved judgment for a date to be communicated to parties in the matter.