By Vivian Okejeme Abuja
Senator Ademola Adeleke, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the recent Osun State Governorship election, was yesterday, arraigned and granted bail on self-recognizance by the Federal High Court, Abuja.
The federal government is prosecuting Senator Adeleke, his brother, Sikiru Adeleke alongside Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal, Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro Osun State), Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (school Registrar) and Dare Samuel Olutope (a teacher), we’re arraigned on a four count charge of examination malpractice.
The court, however, granted the 2nd and 3rd defendants bail to the tune of N2million each while the 4th and 5th defendants were remanded in prison custody because they did not apply for bail.
When the charges were read out to them, the defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.
Sequel to not guilty plea, Counsel to Senator Adeleke, Chief Alex Izinyon SAN, informed the court of a bail application dated and filed on the 12 October, 2018.
Arguing his bail application, Izinyon reminded the court that Senator Adeleke is currently enjoying administrative bail granted him by the police.
He added that the defendant and have not jump bail since, stressing that Adeleke is a serving Senator and would always appear in court for his trial if released on bail.
Meanwhile, the court refused to grant the bail application for the second and third defendants argued by their Counsel, Nathaniel Oke SAN and Abdulsalam Abdulfatah respectively.
Also the court decline attempt by Oke to move an oral application for the 4th and 5th defendants.
Reacting, the prosecution counsel, Simon Laugh, did not oppose the bail applications.
In a short ruling, Justice I. E. Ekwo noted that bail is at the court’s discretion, adding that the prosecution not opposing the bail applications indicated that the defendants are all on administrative bail.
However, the trial Judge granted Adeleke bail on self-recognizance while the 2nd and 3rd defendants were granted bail to the tune of N2million each.
As part of the bail conditions, Senator Adeleke shall sign an undertaken to always attend trial and shall not travel out of the country without the permission of the court.
On the second and third defendants, they are to provide a surety each in the sum of N2m.
According to the court, the sureties 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 only with the permission of the court.
However, the court 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 and 19 for trail.
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 alleged “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.