By Lawrence Olaoye , Tobias Lengnan Dapam and Vivian Okejeme
President Muhammadu Buhari has overruled the invitation extended to the governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 22 Osun state gubernatorial polls, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
A credible source in the Presidency yesterday disclosed that Buhari was uncomfortable with the invitation extended to the opposition candidate at the twilight of the governorship poll in Osun state.
The source stated that the President had ordered the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to suspend any action until after the conclusion of the election on Saturday.
Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Jimoh Moshood, had in a statement yesterday counseled Adeleke and four others to make themselves available to the police for arraignment over charges criminal conspiracy, examination malpractice, amongst others.
Adeleke, the senator representing Osun West Senatorial District, has been accused alongside, Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau, Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo and Dare Olutope of examination malpractice, criminal conspiracy, impersonation, breach of duty, aiding and abetting.
According to the statement, the police had in July 2017 arrested them over the said allegations and after investigation had filed charges against them at the Federal High Court Abuja.
The invitation extended to the opposition party’s candidate on the eve of Osun state governorship election attracted widespread criticisms and condemnations.
Many have alleged that such invitation smacked of a ploy by the ruling All progressives Congress (APC) to put Adeleke at a disadvantaged position ahead of the polls.
The IGP’s invitation to Adeleke came just as the West African Examination Councils (WAEC) yesterday cleared the Osun gubernatorial aspirant in Saturday’s governorship election in Osun State of certificate forgery.
Two chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Wahab Adekunle Raheem and Adam Omosalewa Habeeb, had dragged the PDP candidate before an Abuja High Court praying the court for an order to disqualify him from participating in the September 22 governorship election in Osun State.
The Plaintiffs in their motion submitted that governorship hopeful does not have a required education qualification.
However, the examination Council, in an affidavit deposed to by one Osindeinde Henry Sunday Adewunmi and filed at the registry of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, confirmed that the PDP gubernatorial candidate sat for the Senior Secondary Certificate Examination in May/June 1981.
In the four-paragraph affidavit filed in compliance with the order of Justice Othman Musa, directing the examination body to supply the court with particulars of Adeleke in the 1981 examinations, WAEC confirmed that Adeleke sat for the examination at Ede Muslim High School, Yidi Road, Ede, Osun State with center number 19645.
The affidavit deposed to by Osindeinde, Deputy Registrar/Head of School Examination Department accompanied with the ledger containing the names and results of all the candidates from number 001 to 221 who sat for the secondary school certificate examination in the said school.
The certified true copy of the ledger, however, indicated that Senator Adeleke, who is currently representing Osun West senatorial district in the Senate, sat for only English Language in the examination.
The plaintiffs in an ex-parte application argued by their counsel, Mr. Bankole Joel Akomolafe, on September 11 claimed that the PDP candidate did not sit for the WAEC examination in 1981 because the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination had not been introduced in the country as of 1981.
They further alleged that the National Examination Council (NECO) examination he claimed to have sat for could not be genuine because NECO had not been established at the time Adeleke claimed to have sat for the examination.
The Plaintiffs therefore prayed the court to restrain Adeleke from parading himself as the governorship candidate of PDP in the coming Saturday’s gubernatorial election.
They also prayed the court to restrain the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC from recognizing Adeleke as a candidate in the governorship election.
Justice Musa had in his ruling on the ex-parte application on September 11 refused to bar Adeleke and also refused to make any order against INEC but however, ordered Adeleke to appear before the court yesterday September 19 to show cause on why he should not be disqualified from participating in Saturday’s gubernatorial election.
The judge also ordered WAEC to swear to affidavit to confirm or deny participation of Adeleke in the 1981 WAEC examination and to also make available to the court the ledger containing names and results of candidates for 1981 WAEC examination.
In response to the court order, WAEC admitted that the PDP candidate actually sat for the SSCE in 1981.