Confusion over Adeleke’s police invitation
• Buhari intervenes, orders IGP to act after poll
• Secondus, Saraki,Atiku, others rally for PDP aspirant
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday ordered the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Idris, to halt the planned invitation to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) aspirant in Saturday’s Osun State governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke.The police boss had wanted Adeleke to answer questions on his alleged involvement in examination malpractice, criminal conspiracy, impersonation, breach of duty, and aiding and abetting.
A presidency source, who craved anonymity, confirmed the Buhari’s directive to newsmen last night. The source revealed that Buhari specifically ordered that Adeleke should not be invited until after the poll.Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, had noted in a statement that Adeleke would be charged with four other accomplices: Sikiru Adeleke, brother of the governorship hopeful; Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau, principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Egbedore LGA, Osun State; Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo, the school official responsible for the registration of candidates for NECO; and Dare Olutope, a school teacher who allegedly facilitated the commission of the crime.
Moshood said the development followed a tip-off received by the Osun State Police Intelligence Bureau on July 21, 2017 about “an ongoing examination malpractice involving Ademola and Sikiru at Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School.”When the police reportedly swung into action at the school, it was learnt that only Sikiru was found seated for the examination while Adeleke’s chair was vacant. He was suspected to have escaped before the arrival of the operatives.
Police said the lawmaker and his brother 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.The school principal and two other members of staff under investigation allegedly facilitated the crime. While Mufutau, Thomas Ojo and Dare Olutope were arrested on July 21, 2017, the governorship candidate and his brother were arrested on July 27 and August 8, 2017.
But the development has had the PDP kicking. In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, 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 realised that he is coasting to victory.Perhaps, the police need 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.
“Moreover, this is the same police that have not been able to invite the disgraced 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.The PDP called on the inspector general of police to protect the integrity of the force by calling his officers hounding Adeleke to order. “The issue of who becomes the governor of Osun State resides with the people of Osun and nothing should be allowed to disrupt the peaceful conduct of the election,” it said.
Also, Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose in a statement by his chief press secretary, Idowu Adelusi, described the action of the police as reckless, barbaric and primitive. He said the police are no longer the Nigeria Police but APC’s police because they are allegedly working in tandem with the party to defeat the PDP in Osun State.“The APC and political enemies of Adeleke had said that the certificate in custody of the senator was forged. But WAEC, which issued the certificate, said the document in Adeleke’s possession is authentic and genuine.
“They said he has no certificate. He brought out his certificate. They took him to court. He defeated them. They said the certificate was forged. WAEC said it is not forged. What are they still looking for? I wonder,” Fayose said.In an affidavit deposed to by one Osindeinde Henry Sunday Adewunmi and filed at the registry of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the examination council provided an affidavit of compliance to an order issued by Justice Othman Musa on September 11, 2018 directing the examination body to supply the court with particulars of the said examination Adeleke said he sat for in 1981.
According to the examination ledger attached to the four-paragraph affidavit filed by WAEC, Senator Adeleke, who is currently representing Osun West Senatorial District of Osun State sat for the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in May/June 1981 at Ede Muslim High School situated at Yidi Road, Ede in Osun State, with centre number 19645.Two chieftains of the APC, Wahab Adeniran Raheem and Adam Omoshalewa Habeeb, had taken the PDP candidate before the Abuja High Court praying the court for an order disqualifying him from participating in the September 22 election on the ground that he did not possess the requisite qualification.
Meanwhile, the leadership of Osun State chapter of the PDP yesterday rounded off its mega rally in Osogbo, the Osun State capital, calling on the people to protect their votes from being stolen or tampered with by enemies of democracy.At the event were PDP National Chairman Uche Secondus and presidential aspirants, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Senate President Bukola Saraki.
“They want to rig us out and that is why they banned the use of handsets at the polling cubicles. But we are assuring you that we will not allow such to happen,” said Secondus.“Osun government has collapsed long ago and our candidate, Senator Ademola Adeleke will fix the economy of the state if elected. The arrears of salaries that the APC failed to pay over the years would be paid completely by Adeleke’s PDP-led administration,” he said.
Saraki noted: “I am surprised that some people are agitating for Aregbesola’s continuity through the APC candidate when it is Aregbesola that refused to pay workers’ salaries in the past three and a half years. What bad governance. “What continuity do they want? What consolidation do they want to do? Is it non- payment of state workers’ salaries or the untold hardship they have brought to the people of the state?”
Atiku urged people to come out en masse and vote for Adeleke. “You must defend and protect your votes, otherwise they will steal them. Don’t allow them to do what they did in Ekiti. You will win the election on Saturday,” Atiku added. Adeleke declared: “Saturday marks the end of APC in Osun State. They have done badly. PDP will bring light to Osun. The era of half salary is enough. Don’t allow the sufferings to continue. I want to appeal to the youths to arise like soldiers and vote for change.”
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