By Emeka Ejere
The Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo has fixed August 8, 2018, to rule on the suit challenging the eligibility of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
Citing Section 177(D) of Nigeria constitution, the plaintiffs, Mr Rasheed Olatunji and Mr Idowu Oluwaseun, had on July 3, 2018, approached the court contending that the PDP candidate was not eligible to participate in the primary election of the party because according to them he did not possess the minimum educational qualification required.
They, therefore, prayed the court to set the result of the election aside.
On July 26, 2018, at the returned hearing of the matter, the court adjourned the case till August 1 for definite hearing but the process was stalled following a request by the plaintiffs for out of court settlement – a development that led to the further adjournment of the case till today (August 6).
Appearing before the court today, Barrister Olufemi Ayandoku, the lead counsel to the plaintiffs revealed that the parties could not go on with the dialogue.
According to him, the parties would lock horns since barrister Edmund Biriomoni, the counsel to Ademola Adeleke had filed other preliminary objections and written on the prayers of the plaintiffs.
The counsels, thereafter, put the dialogue behind and expressed readiness to go on with the case.
In his argument, Biriomini asked the court to strike out the notion on notice for want of competence and jurisdiction pointing out that the Federal High Court is in position to decide the case.
The respondent, in opposition to the suit, filed three affidavits and written addresses deposed to, by Adeleke.
On the motion of the notice, Biriomoni stressed that one needs not pass the Secondary School Certificate Examination (SSCE) and that only prove of education up to the level is enough to make one eligible for a governorship position.
However, the plaintiffs’ counsel argued that the testimonials and the Statement of Results presented by counsel to Senator Adeleke on the senator’s education up to secondary school level, submitted before the court and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were forged.
He noted that Osun State was created in 1991 and that the document which was dated and purportedly issued in 1988 at Muslim Grammar School Ede could not have originated from the state because as at the said date Ede was in Oyo State.
He also added that the SSCE examination which the senator claimed to have sat for was not in existence as of 1981 when he claimed to have written it.
Furthermore, he cited Section 31 (5) of the Electoral Law which stipulated that any person can approach the court if any candidate presented a false affidavit or document to INEC.
The court then adjourned the case till Wednesday (August 8), for final judgment.