The Magistrates Court in Mpape, Abuja has granted Senator Ademola Adeleke (Osun West – PDP) a N2 million bail after he was arraigned on fresh charges filed against him by the Police. The lawmaker was taken into custody on Monday, May 6, 2019, after honouring the invitation of the Police at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
The Magistrates Court in Mpape, Abuja has granted Senator Ademola Adeleke (Osun West – PDP) a N2 million bail after he was arraigned on fresh charges filed against him by the Police.
The lawmaker was taken into custody on Monday, May 6, 2019, after honouring the invitation of the Police at the Force Headquarters, Abuja.
When he was arraigned before Magistrate Muhammed Shehu on Tuesday, May 7, Adeleke’s counsel,
Adetosoye Adebiyi , objected to the arraignment based on another court order restraining the authorities from detaining him.
The police had first publicly invited Adeleke for questioning just days before the September 2018 Osun governorship election for which he was contesting as a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) .
In the face of the lawmaker’s defiance against a possible arrest warrant, the authorities stood down until after the elections which he controversially lost to the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) , Gboyega Oyetola .
Adeleke was first arraigned before Federal High Court Abuja last year and accused of conspiring with four others to fraudulently write the National Examination Council (NECO) exams in 2017.
He was arraigned on a four-count charge bordering on
examination malpractice. The charges were later
increased to seven in December.
Presiding judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo , ruled last week that the lawmaker should honour a fresh Police invitation before his planned May 7 medical trip abroad which is scheduled to end just before the June 10 resumption date of his case.
Even though Justice Ekwo specifically directed the Police not to prevent Adeleke from embarking on his scheduled trip on Tuesday, Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba , said he was detained in connection with ongoing criminal investigations against him.
When he appeared before the Magistrates’ Court today, Adeleke was hit with a fresh five-count charge including the forging of a letter of attestation and result which he allegedly submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) before he contested in last year’s governorship election.
His counsel, Adebiyi, argued that it was impracticable to continue with the arraignment due to the previous court order. He urged the court to adjourn the matter indefinitely pending the hearing and determination of the suit before the court.
“We are not saying he cannot be arraigned but the order of the court has to be respected,” he said.
The magistrate overruled Adebiyi’s objection to the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the case on the grounds that the court order did not restrain the prosecution from arraigning the defendant.
When the charges were read to him, Adeleke pleaded not guilty and was granted a N2 million bail with a surety who must reside within the jurisdiction of the court.
He was also granted permission to travel abroad for medical reasons and return before the trial commences on June 24 when the prosecution is expected to present witnesses.
Senator Adeleke’s alleged crimes
According to the Police, Senator Adeleke registered for NECO in 2017 by impersonating students of Ojo/Aro Community High School in Osun State. When he was arrested on July 27, 2017, he signed a statement admitting that he registered but did not sit for the examination.
However, according to a result obtained from NECO, Adeleke has seven credits and one pass in the examination he claimed he didn’t participate in. It was also discovered that in his application, he claimed he was born on June 12, 1997 (20 years old) even though he was 57 at the time.
The others who have been implicated in the scandal are Adeleke’s brother, Sikiru , principal of the school, Aregbesola Mufutau , the staff responsible for registration, Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo and a teacher, Dare Olutope .
Adeleke’s struggle for governor’s seat
The APC’s Gboyega Oyetola was declared the winner of the Osun governorship election after winning a supplementary election. Adeleke’s initial victory was declared inconclusive because the victory margin of 353 votes over Oyetola was less than the 3498 votes cancelled in seven polling units, a situation that requires a supplementary election.