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Judgment Nullifying my Candidacy Won’t Stand — Adeleke

Senator Ademola Adeleke has given four reasons why he believes the Tuesday’s judgment of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Bwari, Abuja, nullifying his candidature for the September 2018 governorship election in Osun State, would not stand, The PUNCH reports.

Justice Othman Musa of the FCT High Court in Bwari, Abuja, had, on Tuesday, nullified Adeleke’s nomination by the Peoples Democratic Party for the last year’s poll.

The judge held that Adeleke was not qualified to run for the office of a governor, not being, allegedly, educated up to secondary school level as required of him under Section 177 of the Nigerian Constitution.

But, rejecting the judgment in an early Wednesday’s statement, Adeleke vowed to appeal against it, describing it as “flawed and a travesty of justice.”

“While we are set to appeal the judgment, we also find it compelling to put the records straight by listing out the fatal flaws in the ruling and why it cannot stand before any court,” Adeleke said in the statement.

The statement titled, ‘Flawed Bwari judgment against Senator Adeleke cannot stand!’, issued on his behalf in the name of his campaign organisation, was signed by a lawyer, Niyi Owolade.

Adeleke said the message which he “received with bewilderment,” “subverted justice by ignoring four critical evidence to rule against validated facts and submissions.”

Faulting the judgment, Adeleke said, firstly, there had been “two rulings delivered in September 2018” which “held that Senator Adeleke satisfied all requirements of the law to contest for office.”

He stated that the Tuesday judgment breached the “precept” that “once a court of coordinate jurisdiction has ruled on a matter, court of similar jurisdiction cannot entertain it.”

The statement added that the judge “erred in law by failing to take note of the expiration of 180 days for ruling on pre-election matters.”

It added, “Even when a December 2018 judgment with respect to the issue was presented, the judge chose to ignore it.

“We note that the judge violated the law by adjudicating over a matter whose filing and hearing period had expired.”

Adeleke’s third reason for faulting the judgment was that the judgment ignored the evidence produced by the West Africa Examination Council which listed “all students who sat for the May/June examination in 1981 alongside the senator, in addition to the certified true copies of his school certificate result.”

The statement said, “From the evidence produced by the Council, it is crystal clear that Senator Ademola Adeleke was, indeed, educated beyond the minimum requirement of ‘up to secondary school level’ as stipulated by law and therefore qualified to run for the office of governor in accordance with Section 177 (D) of 1999 CFRN (as amended). Not withstanding, the judge still went ahead to rule otherwise.

“The only statutory body empowered by law to determine authenticity of a secondary school results is the West African Examination Council and they confirmed the authenticity of Senator Adeleke’s result by producing a CTC of the same result. What evidence did the judge therefore base his ruling on?”

Lastly, Adeleke said, the judge was wrong to conclude that he forged the senior secondary school statement of result which he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission.

Adeleke explained that having been shocked by the evidence produced by WAEC showing that he sat for the May/June 1981 examinations, the plaintiffs, again, went on to have the principal of the school to appear in court to confirm the authenticity of the statement of results.

He said, “The principal appeared and confirmed that the statement was genuinely issued by the school and that any error noticed on the statement was that of the school, not that of Senator Adeleke. The school did not, at any point, disown the statement of results.”

He said the school “owned up to the error, which was not about forgery.”

He said, “From the foregoing, we affirm that the judgment of the Bwari court is a travesty of justice, a purchased ruling designed to negatively affect the outcome of Osun governorship judicial process.

“We declare unequivocally that the ruling, being so glaringly against tested facts and the law, cannot stand.

“It is also clear that the ruling cannot, in any way, stop the reality that Senator Ademola Adeleke fulfilled constitutional requirements to be Governor of Osun State.

“We appeal to our numerous supporters and good people of Osun State to remain calm.

“This is another failed bid in the efforts of detractors and enemies of democracy.

Senator Ademola Adeleke is not only qualified but by the grace of God will soon be sworn in as the legitimate Governor of Osun State.”

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