Appeal Court clears Adeleke of certificate forgery in Osun State guber polls
The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has dismissed the ruling of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court sitting in Bwari Area Council which nullified the candidacy of Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 22, 2018 Osun State governorship election.
Justice Emmanuel Agim, who read the judgment, held that the defendant’s West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate was not forged, adding that the testimony of the official from the organisation was also valid.He stated that the suit was statute-barred and that the judgment delivered in 209 days by Justice Othman Musa ran foul of the constitutionally stipulated 180 days for adjudication on pre-election matters.
The Abuja court had on April 4 disqualified Adeleke from participating in the polls on the ground that he did not possess the requisite qualification. In the unanimous judgment delivered yesterday, the appellate court also held that the suit filed by members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging Adeleke’s qualification was a pre-election matter brought outside the 14 days allowed by law.
Justice Agim equally held that being a pre-election matter, the suit ought not to have been filed 43 days after the appellant submitted the alleged forged WAEC certificate.He therefore resolved all five issues raised by Adeleke in his favour.
On the issue of jurisdiction, the judge submitted that the FCT court had no jurisdiction to have entertained the suit whose cause of action arose from Osogbo where Adeleke submitted the alleged forged document.Furthermore, he said it was curious that the trial court also subpoenaed some evidence and exhibits like the affidavit from WAEC yet failed to consider them in its judgment.