The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory in Bwari, Abuja, on Tuesday nullified the nomination of Senator Ademola Adeleke as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the September 2018 governorship election in Osun State.
Delivering a judgment in a suit challenging Adeleke’s qualification to contest for the office of a governor, Justice Othman Musa held that the plaintiffs were able to prove that Adeleke did not possess the minimum qualification of being educated up to the secondary school level as stipulated under Section 177 of the 1999 Constitution, to be eligible to contest governorship poll.
The judge said though he found from the evidence placed before the court that Adeleke was admitted into Muslim High School, Ede, Osun State in 1976, there was no record showing that he graduated from the school, as his name was not seen in the school’s register in 1980.
Musa added that the results, which Adeleke attached to his form CF001 that he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, was fake, as it was found to be different from the one presented to the court by the Principal of Muslim High School, Ede, where he claimed to have graduated.
INEC had declared the All Progressives Congress and its candidate Adegboyega Oyetola, as the winner of the September 2018 governorship election in Osun State.
But the Osun State Governorship Election Petitions, which sat in Abuja, had by its majority judgment nullified Oyetola’s victory and declared Adeleke as the valid winner of the polls.
Before the September 2018 election, two members of the APC, Wahab Raheem and Adam Habeeb, had instituted the suit against Oyetola, the PDP and INEC, accusing Adeleke of not possessing the requisite educational qualification of a secondary school certificate to contest for the office of governor.
They urged the court to, among other things, disqualify Adeleke from participating in the governorship election on the grounds of non-qualification.
Reacting to the judgment on Tuesday, Adeleke’s lawyer, Nathaniel Oke (SAN), expressed displeasure about the verdict, which he said failed to take into account the West African Examination Council certificate evidence tendered before the court.
He said the judge erred in law by going out of his way to on his own source for evidence to arrive at his “unjust conclusion.”