School principal points accusing fingers at the Timi of Ede, Senator Ademola Adeleke, among other personalities who allegedly pressured him into forgery
This is no dancing time for Senator Ademola Adeleke who is enmeshed in a forged certificate controversy. Developments in the last one week strongly portend that his legal problems are far from over as the case took a disturbing dimension with the emergence of an alleged confession by the principal of the school who admitted to forging the document under duress.
Adeleke, a Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senator representing Osun West Senatorial District, was accused of having contested and won the senatorial election with a forged secondary school certificate issued by Ede Muslim High School, Ede, Osun State. He had tendered the same document for the party’s primaries for the governorship election and successfully clinched the ticket to fly the PDP flag in the forthcoming September 22 Osun State governorship polls.
His challengers, Rasheed Olabayo and Oluwaseun Idowu, two members of the PDP in the state, had gone to the Osun State High Court, Osogbo, to seek an interlocutory order to nullify the election on the ground that the certificate tendered by the senator was fake.
Spotlighting the discrepancy between the date of issue and the year stated in the certificate, they argued that Osun State was yet to be created at the date of issuance written on the certificate.
Although, Adeleke triumphed on August 8 when the court threw out the case, the presiding judge, Justice David Oladimeji, made a germane observation that the certificate has “some serious and damaging irregularities.” If anything, Senator Adeleke had merely won a battle, not the war.
Presently, the full weight of the state has been brought to bear on the case as the police have taken over the investigation.
On July 31, a team of detectives stormed Ede Muslim High School and interrogated the school principal, Abass Khalid Adejare. According to the police investigation report seen by Saturday Sun, Adejare, 59, admitted that the school testimonial, dated 20/7/88, and the attestation letter dated 22/5/16, were forged. He confessed to having issued the statement of result and letter of confirmation, both dated 24/7/18, under compulsion, pointing accusing fingers at the Timi of Ede, Oba Munirudeen Adesola Lawal, Senator Ademola Adeleke and his senior brother, Dr Deji Adeleke among other eminent personalities who allegedly pressured him into the forgery.
The Police subsequently invited the indicted personalities to the Force CID Annex, Alagbon Close, Ikoyi, Lagos, on Thursday, August 16, at 12 pm, for questioning. They however failed to honour the invitation.
Contacted by Saturday Sun, Senator Adeleke who spoke through the Director, Media and Publicity of his Campaign Organisation, Olawale Rasheed said the police probe was political witch-hunt.
His words, “We are not privy to the principal’s statement.But if your report is correct, it is sad that a school principal will yield himself as a political tool to malign not only the senator but a First Class traditional ruler of Yoruba land. The real question is: does the testimonial contain verifiable facts about Senator Ademola Adeleke as documented in the school records and with WAEC or not? Those are the facts and they cannot be supplanted nor altered by any sensational statements purportedly issued by any official of the school.
We will welcome your esteemed newspaper to verify those facts at Ede Muslim High school (Formerly Ede Muslim Grammar School) and with WAEC. It is surprising and shocking to hear that a bonafide student of a school would be accused of forging a school testimonial.It is clearly false to accuse the PDP candidate of pressurising his school principal to “forge” a testimonial for him. We repeat that the entire incident is a calculated attempt to malign and distract the PDP candidate. Facts remain sacred. Senator Adeleke was a bonafide student of Ede Muslim Grammar School.”