The Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, yesterday, heard preliminary objections in the suit challenging the eligibility of the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senator Ademola Adeleke and adjourned it till Wednesday (tomorrow) for ruling.
The plaintiffs, Mr. Rasheed Olatunji and Mr. Idowu Oluwaseun, who are both members of the party had on July 23, 2018, approached the court to nullify Adeleke’s nomination, alleging that he is not eligible to participate in the primary election of the party because he lacks the minimum school certificate qualification requirement.
They cited Section 177(d) of the Nigeria constitution to back their suit.
During the hearing on July 26, 2018, the court adjourned the case till August 1 for definite hearing, but the process was stalled, following a request by the plaintiffs for out of court settlement.
This prompted further adjournment of the case to yesterday, August 6.
During the hearing, the lead counsel to the plaintiffs, Olufemi Ayandokun, said that the parties could not go on with the dialogue as the parties would have to lock horns since Edmund Biriomoni, the counsel to Adeleke had filed other preliminary objections and written on the prayers of the plaintiffs.
The counsels thereafter discarded the dialogue and expressed readiness to go on with the case.
Biriomini asked the court to strike out the motion on notice for lack of competence, declaring that the federal high court was in the position to decide the case.
On the motion of the notice, Biriomoni stressed that it is not compulsory to pass secondary school certificate examinations and that only a proof of education up to the level was enough to make one eligible for a governorship position.
However, the plaintiffs’ counsel argued that the testimonials and the statements of results presented by the counsel to Adeleke’s counsel and 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, insisting that the documents were forged.
He added that the Senior Secondary School Certificate (SSCE) which the senator claimed to have sat for was not in existence as at 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 a false affidavit or document to INEC and paragraph 6 which gave the court the power to disqualify anyone who did so.