Opinion: Truth about Adeleke’s Multiple Certificate Trials
by Adebiyi Adebisi
Conscientious Nigerians are aware before now that several cases instituted against Senator Ademola Adeleke on his educational qualifications are mere political witchhunt, a smear campaign and a reprehensible assault on a citizen’s right to vote and be voted for. This week, the evidence of state harrassment emerged in no less a place than the Federal High Court Abuja.
Preliminarily, the just confirmed Inspector General of Police, Adamu Muhammed is probably unaware of how a rogue clique within the force has become a tool in the hands of partisan political camp especially with respect to Osun guber tussle.Or may be he is aware but serving a probable prompting of the Chairman of the Police Service Commission,Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a great public servant alleged to be a symphatiser of those behind the Osun guber usurpation.Or may be both Smith and Adamu are oblivious of the deepening smearing of the police image over this unfair treatment and harrassment of Senator Ademola Adeleke.
If they both claim ignorance, the utter rebuke of the senior police counsel who has been window shopping in almost four courts over a false certificate case, can be an eye opener. If they own up to authorisation of such messy pursuit of an innocent man, the judge’s condemnation which he called “a very dubious manoeuvre of judicial system” should clearly prompt a rethink.
It is simple to affirm that the police is just doing its job.The question that follows is this: In what manner is the security organisation pursuing that statutory responsibility? On Osun governorship tussle, the case centres on alleged falsification of certificate and testimonial.The matter started as a case of non-qualification which was determined in favour of Senator Adeleke by two courts which affirmed that he satisfied constitutional requirements for standing for elections.Suddenly,the matter transformed to examination malpractices and later to testimonial forgery. In all these, the narrative of Senator Adeleke never changed and conforms with the testimonies from the Principal of the secondary school he attended and from officials that issued the certificate he submitted (WAEC).
To confirm that the police has indeed deviated from her responsibility and is now serving some political interests, the school principal and registrar were arrested, allegedly tortured, all in a bid to force them to deny a testimonial duly issued on the studentship of Ademola Adeleke which was a public knowledge. As though acting like an errand agency of Gboyega Oyetola, the interim governor of Osun state, the police even proceeded to arrest the wife and 9 month old baby of the registrar of the secondary school, all in an effort to get them to change their factual narrative on Senator Adeleke’s educational qualifications. Despite all intimidations, the police failed to get their way with twisting the facts.
Not satisfied with the blackmail so far, a funny case suddenly sprung up at a Bwari High Court.The court on her own summoned WAEC and the School principal to give testimony of facts on Senator Adeleke’s secondary educational qualifications.WAEC and the school principal deposed to affidavits of fact confirming the Senator’s results and testimonial, documents which were admitted by the court as exhibits, despite these facts the Judge shockingly declared the Senator guilty of forging the same results earlier confirmed by both the Secondary School and WAEC
If the police were not disposed to obeying two subsisting judgments on the Senator’s qualifications for the election,the two affidavits from the examination body and the school principal should have convinced the police service that it is being used for partisan political motives. But in further partisan onslaught, the police in clear breach of two fresh court orders arrested the Senator .Guess what ? The arrest was on the same issue of certificate and testimonial.
Another Federal High Court in Abuja on same Certificate trial had granted the Senator leave to travel for medical check up while also directing the police not to stop his enjoyment of that leave. Another High Court of Ikirun division in Osun state also specifically barred the Inspector General of Police from arresting the Senator. The police not only arrested the Senator but the following day, arraigned him at a Magistrate court, on the same certificate allegations. Worst still, the police counsel even moved against granting of bail to the Senator in breach of two orders of superior courts. The Margistrate being bound by the two superior court orders released the Senator on bail and granted him leave to travel.
Despite these existing orders and not relenting in their resolve to criminalize, harass and detain the Senator, the Police prosecutor still approached the Abuja High Court for stay order cancelling the Senator’s bail and consent to travel abroad. This is where the police burnt its fingers.The judge of the Federal High Court in apparent anger nearly committed police counsel to jail on this window shopping and clear breach of court order. Justice Inyang Ekwo, held that It was obligatory on every person to obey orders of the court, adding “This court stands to commit Mr Lough to prison custody for this blatant act of impunity and contemptuous disobedience.
“The exercise of restraint by this court in not dealing with the learned counsel for the complainant/applicant forthrightly is to demonstrate to the learned gentleman that the best use of power is to restrain”. Justice Ekwo held that from the submissions of Lough, Adeleke had already traveled which meant that the application was spent. The judge said there was nothing to stay as injunction was not normally granted over completed acts.
“The issue here is not merely that of granting an injunction over a completed act but whether a party can disobey an order of court and come before the same court, seeking for its discretionary power”.
According to him, the police refused to comply with the order of the court and to have reason for not complying, the police resorted to self help. This he said was by arraigning Adeleke before the Magistrate Court on May 7, just to stop him from traveling. The judge further said that the police acted disdainfully by arraigning Adeleke on the day he was granted leave to travel for medical check up in an inferior court. He added that by doing so, the police had derailed the authourity of the court, which he said was a condemnable act. He described Adeleke’s arrest by the police and his arraignment as “a very dubious manoeuvre of judicial system in order to avoid compliance with the order of the court.
Even when the game is clearly made manifest for all to see, the Senator’s traducers have remained adamant seeking ANY means of stopping him from continued pursuit of the retrieval of his stolen mandate, there are unconfirmed stories of further attempts to frame the Senator by putting certificates/results with a similar name as his that he never claimed or knows anything about in his records. Desperate plots are being hatched to criminalize the Senator on educational qualifications. It is sad that a critical state institution appears to be lending its platforms for usage by election riggers who are scared of people’s electoral will.
Summarily, the police in this case is playing the political hatchet job handler for Gboyega Oyetola, a beneficiary of the electoral robbery of which Adeleke is a victim.The several cases without any substance are designed to tarnish and destroy the image of the Senator to undermine his claim to Osun governorship. A careful reading of the preceding affirms that there is no forgery of any type and that the Senator neither lied on oath nor forge any certificate or testimonial.The cases are devious political assault to get through smear campaign that which will eventually be lost at the court of justice.
My takeaways on the Adeleke’s certificate controversies are as follows;
* that the statutory examination body (WAEC) confirms the Senator’s qualificationsand its authenticity;
*that the school principal acknowledged the Senator’s studentship and testimonial;
*that there is no evidence that suggests the Senator forged any certificate/result; *that two high court judgements exist affirming the Senator’s eligibility to contest ;and
- that before the constitution and the electoral act as amended, Senator Adeleke is qualified to contest and hold elective office.
It is high time the police authorities abandoned this hatchet job. Justice Ekwo has given the service a lifeline. The truth is now out in the open, the Nigerian public can now clearly see this is beyond the call of duty.
*Adebiyi Adebisi, a public affairs analyst,writes from Ikoyi,Lagos.