Lagos East bye-election: APC seeks Gbadamosi’s disqualification, alleges certificate falsification
• I’ve not been served court processes, says PDP candidate
• NRM, ADC candidates urge electorate to consider fresh parties
The Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has dragged the candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the December 5, 2020 senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi before a Federal High Court, Ikoyi, for alleged perjury and falsification of certificates.
Counsels to the party, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro (SAN) of Pinheiro LP and Mr. Kemi Balogun (SAN) of Oluwakemi Balogun LP, filed the suit at the court Monday, asking it to disqualify Gbadamosi from contesting the bye-election.
The APC filed the suit against Gbadamosi and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and supported the suit with documents to prove its case.
In Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1659/2020, the APC averred that it studied the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) certificate, which Gbadamosi submitted to the INEC in comparison with his certificate obtained from the official website of WAEC and found certain discrepancies.
Meanwhile, Gbadamosi told The Guardian via the telephone Monday that he was yet to receive any court process with regards to the case and therefore could not make any comment. He wondered why the APC would rush to the press with the issue while he is yet to be served any paper.
He appealed to voters in Lagos East to disregard the antics of the ruling party, saying, “APC is jittery. That is the reason it is desperate to disparage me.”
Gbadamosi said he would meet the ruling party in court as soon as he obtains the court process. APC, in its writs of summons, had claimed that it discovered certain discrepancies in Gbadamosi’s certificates, which, according to the party, were indicative of the fact that the WAEC certificate he submitted to INEC might have been falsified.
The party further claimed that some of the discrepancies observed in Gbadamosi’s certificate include the number of subjects he allegedly sat for in the exam “being different from the number of subjects he sat for as contained on the website of WAEC. Also, the grades he claims to have received via the certificate are different from those contained on the official website of WAEC.”
The party revealed that in the WAEC certificate, which Gbadamosi submitted to the INEC, the PDP candidate only sat for five subjects: English Language with A3 grade, Literature in English C5; History C5; Commerce C4 and Biology P7.
“However, details of Gbadamosi’s result obtained from WAEC’s official website revealed that the PDP candidate sat for eight subjects in which he had F9 in Bible Knowledge; F9 in Economics; F9 in Mathematics; A3 English Language; C5 in Literature in English; C5 in History; C4 in Commerce and P7 Biology.”
The APC alleged that the PDP candidate filled Form EC9, stating that he attended the Lagos State University after obtaining his WAEC certificate in 1985. But the party argued that the claim was suspicious because he did not meet requirements for admission into the university.
On these grounds, the APC asked the court to disqualify the PDP and Gbadamosi from contesting the forthcoming senatorial bye-election in Lagos East, which the INEC had rescheduled to hold on December 5.
Apart from asking the court to disqualify the PDP candidate, APC also prayed that the court disqualifies Gbadamosi from contesting future elections in view of the falsified certificate he presented to the INEC.
APC declared that it had painstakingly studied the Forms EC9 and CF001 Gbadamosi filled and submitted to the INEC for the purpose of the December 5 senatorial bye-election.
The party alleged that the PDP candidate made several false declarations on oath regarding his working experience, his educational qualifications and certain other aspects.
It, also, alleged that Gbadamosi did not participate in the one year mandatory National Youth Service (NYSC), which according to the APC, indicated that making “false declarations on oath and failure to participate in the mandatory national service are offences under several criminal laws.”
Meanwhile, APC’s senatorial candidate for the bye-election, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru has said quality representation at the National Assembly is key to national development and tackling the security challenges Nigeria is currently grappling with.
He spoke Sunday evening at a stakeholders’ meeting with residents of Isheri Community (ISECOM), a community comprising 18 housing estates in Kosofe Local Government Area (LGA).
Abiru, a former Executive Director of First Bank Plc and Chief Executive Officer of Polaris Bank, added that well-directed legislative interventions could prevent the nation’s economy from nose-diving in the face of myriad of challenges, especially those arising from the recent contraction of the national economy.
Abiru attended the meeting alongside a member of the House of Representatives, Rotimi Agunsoye; the APC Vice Chairman (Lagos East), Chief Kaoli Olusanya and the APC candidate for House of Assembly, Kosofe II bye-election, Mr. Femi Saheed, among others.
MEANWHILE, Spokesman of Lagos PDP, Mr. Taofik Gani dismissed the allegations as frivolous and an after thought from the ruling party.
According to Gani, “It is clear that APC is jittery from its tone in the purported suit against Gbadamosi because of the aftermath of the recent #EndSARS protests, which has placed the ruling party in a bad light before Lagos electorate.”
Gani wondered why APC would suddenly resort to unfounded propaganda and media sensation if it’s sure of its acclaimed popularity.
According to him, “Our candidate never claimed anything near what APC alleged in the suit against him and moreover the party has not been served any court process.
The party has advised the electorate in Lagos East to go out en mass to vote for the candidate of their choice.”Also reacting, the Spokesman, Babatunde Gbadamosi Campaign Organisation, Dr. Adetokunbo Pearse told The Guardian there was nothing about the APC’s suit because it lacks substance and merit. “The ruling party is merely looking or for escape because it knows we have a strong point in the fraud and double registration case we instituted against its candidate.”
Pearse said the university that offers admission is the only one that has the right to say somebody used fake certificate and not APC “our candidate never claimed he had grade 1 or 2.”
On whether Gbadamosi has received court process, Pearse said, “I am not aware of any court process, and I don’t think the party has received any. Again, I say that APC knows there is no more time for court case. Our own case against Abiru has been fixed for hearing on December 9.”
ON his part, candidate of the National Rescue Movement (NRM), Mr. Mautin Akin Olukunle urged the electorate in Lagos East not to vote for the two major parties and their candidates in the bye-election.
Olukunle said APC and PDP have done nothing to deserve being elected by the people of Lagos and in any part of the country considering the poor state of the country and the state since 1999.
He also flayed both major parties, saying, having realised the damages, which the recent #EndSARS protests have done to their popularity among residents of Lagos “they are now resorting to underhand tactics to win the bye-election on December 5.”
The former General Manager, Public Affairs of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) also harped on the need for the emancipation of the people in all spheres of life, which according to him, “is of paramount importance to us. And the time for that emancipation is now.”
He called on the voters in Lagos East not to allow the message of the youths go in vain, saying, “Such message must be brought to the fore on December 5 where they are expected to use their votes to #EndBAD Representation. We have had leaders, representatives and governments, most of whom we counted on, and of course collectively supported, to find lasting solutions to our general problems and constraints. Many of those leaders, at different times, come up with lofty promises and nothing significantly to offer and show at the end of the day. In a few words, they have failed us. And they keep failing us.”
Insisting that the country, especially Lagos, cannot continue with the ugly trend, Olukunle said, “It’s high time we carried our fate in our hands. A time to collectively and actively participate in the governance of our nation, states, council areas and communities.”
On the vision of NRM, Olukunle said, “Our party is totally committed to achieving a united, stable and prosperous nation in which all citizens are entitled to quality life based on the inviolable and resolute principles and policies founded on the collective interests of the Nigerian people. Together with our great party, we shall fight doggedly for the good people of Lagos East, bringing national attention to their issues, making a strong case for their needs, giving them a sense of belonging in the polity and giving them a pride of place. We shall use all the legislative tools at our disposal to improve their quality of life.”
In similar vein, candidate of Africa Democratic Congress (ADC), Dr. John Kome said the people of Lagos East should use the coming bye-elections in the zone to start the change mantra in Lagos State.He said the slow pace of development in Lagos since 1999 does not qualify the APC or PDP to be elected on December 5.
According to him, “The attitude of present day leaders and politicians that misinterpret ‘politics’ and only use their privileged position to enrich themselves at the expense of those who voted them into power must be rejected.”