Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The Federal government on Thursday withdrew the examination malpractice charges against the former governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adelake and for others.
Adeleke along with Sikiru Adeleke (said to be a relative of Senator Adeleke), Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (the school principal), Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (registrar) and Dare Samuel Olutope (teacher) were on October 2018 arraigned before the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
The prosecution had accused Ademola and Sikiru of fraudulently, through personation, registering as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro, Osun State to enable them sit for the National Examinations Council (NECO) examination of June/July 2017.
The other three defendants were accused of aiding the commission of the alleged offence.
When the matter came up on Thursday, the prosecution counsel, Simon Lough informed the court that the state has amended the charge to exclude Adeleke, in view of his continued absence in court.
Adeleke has failed to attend court since last year when he was granted permission, by the trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, to travel to the United States on medical grounds.
The defence counsel led by Dr. Alex Izinyon (SAN) did not object to the prosecution’s decision to amend its charge.
There was however an argument on disagreed on the appropriate order to be made; whether Adeleke should be simply discharged, based on the withdrawal of the charge against him, or whether he should be discharged and acquitted.
Justice Ekwo has fixed ruing on the issue for Friday (May 29).
The other defendants pleaded not guilty when they were re-arraigned on the amended seven-count charge.
Justice Ekwo agreed with the defence lawyers that the defendants should continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted them.