Abuja — THERE was drama as the Nigeria Police Force, yesterday, filed charges of examination malpractices, impersonation and criminal conspiracy against the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Saturday's election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke.
However, in a new twist, President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the Inspector General of Police, Abubakar Idris to stop the invitation of Senator Adeleke.
A Presidency source, who pleaded for anonymity, confirmed this development to newsmen.
According to the source, Buhari ordered that Adeleke should not be invited until after Saturday's election.
But a presidential source told reporters that Buhari had ordered the IGP not to go ahead with the invitation until the governorship election is over.
This was as the West African Examination Council, WAEC, yesterday, confirmed before an Abuja High Court sitting at Bwari, that Adeleke, was among 221 candidates that sat for examination it conducted in May/June, 1981.
The police asked him and four others to report to the Special Investigation Panel at the Abuja headquarters for arraignment in court.
He and other suspects will face a charge of examination malpractice, criminal conspiracy, and impersonation.
The PDP, however, tackled the Police for the warrant of arrest saying it was an attempt to run down the PDP candidate for the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola.
Adeleke declared wanted
Speaking to journalist in Abuja, Police spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, said that investigations revealed that Senator Adeleke and his brother Sikiru Adeleke 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 respectively.
Moshood said: "When the Police operative arrived at the school, only Sikiru Adeleke was found seated for the examination while Senator Ademola Adeleke seat was vacant and was suspected to have escaped before the arrival of the Police operatives.
"Further investigation revealed that both Senator Ademola Adeleke and his brother Sikiru Adeleke registered and were sitting for the National Examination Council Examination, NECO, 2017 as internal candidates impersonating students of the School at the ages of 57years and 42years respectively. This crime was facilitated by the principal of the school, and two other members of staff of the school for which they are under investigation and being charged to court.
"The Principal of the school, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau, the staff responsible for registration, Mr Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo and a teacher Mr Dare Olutope were arrested on 21 July 2017. "Senator Ademola Adeleke was arrested on 27 July 2017 and Sikiru Adeleke was arrested on 8 August 2017.
"Senator Ademola Adeleke made cautionary statement and admitted that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school but he didn't sit for the examination. "However, Police investigation revealed the following primafacial and culpability facts against Senator Ademola Adeleke and four (4) others.
"Senator Ademola Adeleke made cautionary statement and admitted that he registered for the 2017 NECO examinations as an internal student in the said school and did not sit for the examination but have a result from NECO with Seven (7) Credit and One (1) Pass, a copy of which was obtained from NECO by the Police.
"The Ojo/Aro 2017 NECO, SSCE school photo album (School's copy), with Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke photographs in school uniform in the said album.
"Senator Ademola Adeleke in the NECO Result obtained claimed that he was born on 12th June 1997 but in his statement to the Police, senator Ademola Adeleke wrote 13th May 1960 as his Date of Birth.
"The photographs of both Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke appearing side by side in the photo album have no NECO stamps on them. " "Consequently, Senator Ademola Adeleke (PDP Governorship Aspirant in the 22nd September, 2018 Gubernatorial Election in Osun State) and four (4) others namely; MR Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (Principal of Ojo-Aro Community High School, Egbedore LGA, Osun State), Mr Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (School Staff responsible for the registration of candidates for NECO), Mr Dare Olutope (School Teacher who facilitated the commission of the crime) are, hereby, advised in their own interest to report to the Special Investigation Panel, Force Headquarters, Abuja immediately for arraignment in court."
He sat for exams--WAEC
However, in a four paragraphed affidavit that was deposed to by one Osindeinde Adewunmi, WAEC, told the court that Adeleke's centre number was 19645, while his candidate number was 149.
It said the Senior Secondary School Certificate Exam was held at Ede Muslim School situate at P.O. Box 6 Yidi Road, Ede, State of Osun.
The court, in a ruling by Justice Othman Musa, specifically directed that WAEC should depose an affidavit, to either deny or confirm that Adeleke, sat for the exams held at Ede Muslim High School in Ede, Osun State, in 1981.
It also held that the examination body should file the ledger containing results of Ademola and his mates with whom he sat for the examinations, as well as the verifying affidavit, within five days of being served with the enrolled order dated September 11.
The orders were sequel to an ex-parte motion that was filed by two plaintiffs, Mr. Wahab Raheem and Mr. Adam Habeeb.
Equally joined as 2nd and 3rd Defendants in the suit marked FCT/HC/BW/CV/122/2018, were the PDP and INEC.
Aside granting leave to the plaintiffs to serve the court processes on Adeleke through the Clerk of the Senate, the court declined to restrain INEC from recognising or giving effect to the 1st Defendant's nomination as the governorship candidate of the PDP for the Osun poll.
Meantime, in compliance with the orders, WAEC tendered before the court, a ledger containing the result of all candidates (001-221) who sat the Exams with Adeleke in 1981.
The ledger was marked as exhibit WA1.
PDP faults Police summons on Adeleke
Reacting to the Police summons on Adeleke, the PDP, in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Prince Diran Odeyemi said: "This action by the Nigeria Police Force coming about 72 hours to a decisive governorship election in Osun state goes to confirm our fears that the Federal Government is desperate to intimidate the main opposition candidate in order to compromise the integrity of Saturday's election.
"We find it quite unfortunate that an institution like the Police, which ought to be neutral and apolitical, has allowed itself to be used as a tool for the ignoble role of thwarting the free expression of voters' preferences for the PDP candidate in the Governorship election.
"In attempting to run down the PDP candidate for his APC opponent, the Nigeria Police has embarked on a very terrible mission which may go down in history as the most ridiculous intervention in an electoral contest.
"We once again call on well meaning leaders of thought in Nigeria, the international community and Civil Society organisations to rise up in defence of democracy in Nigeria."
PDP warns security personnel against financial inducement
Similarly, the PDP has warned security officials not to allow themselves to be financially induced to compromise their professionalism in Saturday's governorship election in Osun state.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said: "Nigerians, particularly, the people of Osun state, can easily see through the attempt to use the subterfuge of a huge election duty allowance to entangle our security officers and use them against the people.
"While the PDP has nothing against any effort to effectively mobilize our security officials for the election, our party totally rejects the plot by the APC to use the payment as inducement to manipulate the election.
Atiku, Saraki, Secondus rally support for Adeleke
Meanwhile, former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; the Senate President, Senator Bukola Saraki and the National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, yesterday, at the PDP mega rally in Osogbo, called the people of Osun State to guide and protect their votes from being stolen by the APC led government in the state.
In his remarks, Atiku said: "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 the election on Saturday."
In his remarks, Prince Secondus alleged that "They want to rig us out and that is why they banned uses of handsets at the polling cubicles but we are assuring you that, we will not allow such to happen."
Also speaking, the Senate President expressed surprised that, "some people are agitating for Aregbesola's continuity through APC candidate when it is Aregbesola that has refused to pay workers salaries in the past three an half years, what bad governance. I was a governor of Kwara state for eight years and in the history of this country, I have never seen any governor that has not paid his workers salaries except APC led government in the state."
APC has done badly--Adeleke
The party flagbearer, Adeleke, said: "Saturday marks the end of APC in Osun State. They have done badly. PDP will bring light to Osun. Give us the chance to pay the salaries of teachers, other workers and pensioners,"
Ooni, Oluwo call for peace
Meanwhile, the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi has appealed to politicians and their supporters in the state to desist from actions that may precipitate violence before, during and after the election.
The Ooni said: "We must realise that this country is greater than every one of us.
Similarly, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi, has urged whoever that emerge victorious at the poll to run an all-inclusive government in order to move the state forward.
The Oluwo said: "I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all the political parties to see themselves as one after the poll, whoever that emerges victorious should have an all-inclusive government in order to move the state forward."
Why we're supporting Omisore's SDP--- Kusamotu
A former House of Representatives aspirant in Osun State, Mr. Ayo Musibau Kusamotu, has thrown his weight behind the governorship candidate of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, Senator Iyiola Omisore.
Kusamotu, in statement, said: "Osun election would be keenly contested. It has become abundantly clear that the APC has nothing to offer our state. Even though it is really late in the day, I have asked my PAK Movement members to support SDP and the governorship aspiration of Senator Omisore. There are also other elections coming which will be crucial, I foresee the opposition parties coming together as well to wrest power and deliver good governance to Nigerians.
"Sometimes, an effort is what is needed regardless of the outcome. Senator Omisore was the only candidate that came in person to address our movement and we appreciate his sagacity for this."