Nigeria: Alleged Certificate Forgery - Police Arrest Senator Adeleke Again, File Fresh Charges

Senator Ademola Adeleke

The police on Monday said they have arrested Ademola Adeleke, a Nigerian senator. The police said Mr Adeleke will be arraigned in court on Tuesday in Abuja.

Police spokesperson Frank Mba did not immediately give reasons for Mr Adeleke's detention, but said his legal representatives were carried along during preparation of charges.

Mr Mba said the police will accord the Osun governorship contender "the best tradition of natural justice and fair hearing."

Even though the police have not publicly disclosed the specific charges against Mr Adeleke, his associates have been speculating that they were connected to the allegations of certificate forgery that had assailed the lawmaker for nearly a year.

Mr Adeleke was first arrested in September 2018, a few days to the Osun governorship election in which he was the most potent opposition challenger. He was accused of writing WAEC with muddled identity in order to beef up his credentials for the governorship election that was then upcoming.

The senator strongly denied allegations of forgery when he was arraigned by the police, saying he had been a victim of vindictive politics of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Mr Adeleke, a member of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, was defended by the principal of the school in which he was accused of committing the offence. A statement from his office Monday night said the principal and WAEC swore affidavits in defending the governor against forgery or impersonation.

The statement also said Mr Adeleke's latest arrest was aimed at frustrating his case at the election petitions tribunal. The senator had challenged the outcome of the September 2018 governorship election, saying he was robbed by the APC. The tribunal declared him winner of the election in March, but the APC's incumbent governor, Gboyega Oyetola, appealed the ruling.

The PDP condemned Mr Adeleke's latest arrest because the charges police filed against him in 2018 were still pending in court.

Mr Adeleke's office said he reported at the Force Headquarters in Abuja to honour a police invitation at about 9:00 a.m. Monday. He was, however, allegedly driven to Maitama Area Command Headquarters, where he had been held. Mr Mba declined to speak on where Mr Adeleke is being detained, but strongly denied that he had been in police custody since 9:00 a.m.

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