President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, to suspend his invitation of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in next Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, for interrogation.
The Force had invited Senator Adeleke and four others to the force headquarters in Abuja to answer to allegations of examination malpractice, criminal conspiracy, impersonation, breach of duty, as well as aiding and abetting.
But a top official in the presidency told LEADERSHIP last night that President Buhari waded into the matter by asking the IGP to stop further invitation of Adeleke.
According to the source who did not want his name in print, Buhari specifically told the IGP to halt the invitation of Senator Adeleke until after Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State.
The four others invited alongside Senator Adeleke are Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Egbedore LGA, Osun State), Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (School Staff responsible for the registration of candidates for NECO), and Dare Olutope (School Teacher who facilitated the commission of the crime).
They were yesterday invited to report to the Special Investigation Panel at the force headquarters, Abuja immediately for their arraignment in court.
Force PRO, Jimoh Moshood, noted that charges of examination malpractice, criminal conspiracy, impersonation, breach of duty, aiding and abetting against the PDP governorship aspirant and the four others had been filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja under the Examination Malpractice Act, CAP E15, 2004.
“Consequently, they are hereby advised in their own interest to report to the Special Investigation Panel, Force Headquarters, Abuja immediately for arraignment in court”, Moshood said in a statement.
Giving details of the offences for which Senator Adeleke and the four others are being invited for prosecution, Moshood said, “On July 21, 2017, the Osun State Police Intelligence Bureau (SIB) received and acted on an actionable intelligence about an ongoing examination malpractice involving Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke at OJO/Aro Community Grammar School in Osun state.
“When the Police operative arrived at the school, only Sikiru Adeleke was found seated for the examination while Senator Adeleke seat was vacant and was suspected to have escaped before the arrival of the Police operatives.
“Further investigation revealed that both Senator Adeleke and his brother Sikiru Adeleke registered and were sitting for the National Examination Council Examination (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.”
The Police further noted that Senator Adeleke made cautionary statement admitting that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school but did not sit for the examination.
The Police confirmed yesterday that it had filed a suit bordering on a four-count charge against Senator Adeleke and the other four suspects before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
This is coming three days to the Osun state gubernatorial election billed to hold on Saturday.
According to the Police, Senator Adeleke and his brother, Sikiru, registered and sat for the National Examination Council Examination (NECO) 2017 as internal candidates, impersonating students of the school at the ages of 57 and 42 years respectively.
Moshood said investigations revealed that Ademola had made a cautionary statement and admitted that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school but did not sit for the examination.
He said the pictures of both the Senator and his brother, Sikiru, were captured in the school’s photo book of 2017 but no NECO seal was found on their photos, unlike the rest of the students.
The School Principal of Ojo-Aro Community High School, Egbedore local government area, Osun State, and three others are also to be arraigned for what the force describes as a conspiracy with the Senator.
PDP Accuses Police Of Acting APC’s Script
Reacting to the development, the PDP yesterday cautioned the Police to desist from acting the script of the All Progressives Congress (APC) against its governorship candidate in next Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State.
PDP described the latest twist in the Adeleke Certificate Circus, leading to charges by the Police as horrible, nauseating and displeasing.
The party, in a statement by its national spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the sudden realisation of allegations that ” 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.
The party 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 realized that he is coasting to victory.
“Perhaps, the police needs to be educated that the West African Examination Council (WAEC) has already confirmed that Senator Adeleke wrote his WAEC examination in 1981, thus ending the earlier unnecessary controversy about his WAEC status.”
The PDP wondered why the Police has not been able to invite 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”.
Ekiti Governorship Tribunal Moves To Abuja
Meanwhile, the Ekiti governorship election petitions tribunal yesterday moved its sittings to Abuja, citing security threats as reason for the movement.
The tribunal said,” The petition pre-hearing will be heard at (High Court No 17, Apo FCT High Court, Abuja) on Monday 24, September, 2018 at hour of (9.00 am) forenoon or so soon as the Tribunal may determine “.
The Tribunal had on Monday, during its inaugural sitting in Ado Ekiti, hinted about holding its subsequent sittings outside the state due to security concerns expressed by counsels to the parties in the matter.
It said the new venue will be communicated within the next 48 hours.
Counsel to the petitioner, Barrister Adebayo Adelodun (SAN) had during the sitting made an oral application on the relocation, which was also supported by counsels to APC and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Members of the three-member tribunal are Justice Suleiman Belgore, Justices Aliyu Usman Baba and Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro.
In his ruling, Justice Belgore said, “We have rubbed minds together and came to the conclusion that this fear is real and apparent that the situation is becoming insecure and tense and we can’t trivialise such.
“We hereby grant the application because of the consequences the insecurity could have on this Tribunal and the new venue shall be communicated through our Secretary to all parties within 48 hours.’’
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