The Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, the state capital has entertained preliminary objections and counter-affidavits in respect of a suit challenging the eligibility of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Senator Ademola Adeleke and adjourned the case till Wednesday for ruling on the plaintiffs’ prayers before the court.
Citing Section 177(d) of Nigeria constitution, the plaintiffs, Mr Rasheed Olatunji and Mr. Idowu Oluwaseun had on 23rd of July 2018 approached the court contending that the PDP candidate was not eligible to participate in the primary election of the party because he doesn’t possess minimum required educational qualification, and prayed the court to set the election aside.
On 26th of August, 2018 at the returned hearing of the matter, the court adjourned the case till August 1st 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 to today 6th of August, 2018.
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, the parties would have to 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 address deposed to by Adeleke.
On the motion of the notice, Biriomoni stressed that one need not pass secondary school certificate examination 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 counsel on the senator 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 Osun State because as at the said date Ede was in Oyo State and that the documents were forged.
He also added that the examination, Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) which the senator claimed to have sat for was not in existence as of 1981 when he claimed to have written the examination.
He cited Section 31 (5) of the Electoral Law which stipulated that any person can approach the court if any candidate presented false affidavit or document to INEC and paragraph 6 which gave the court the power to disqualify anyone who did so.
The court then adjourned the case till Wednesday, 8th August, 2018 for final judgement on the suit.