Posted by News Express | 8 May 2019 | 661 times
A leading pro-democracy organisation, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has condemned what it called the politically-motivated persecution of the court’s adjudged winner of last year’s Osun State governorship election, Senator Ademola Adeleke of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the Nigeria police over alleged certificate forgery.
The rights group in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, warned the police about its persistent selective approach to law enforcement skewed in favour of the ruling party at the federal level.
HURIWA also noted that “the discriminatory and arbitrary arrest of the opposition politician and the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari and the police to take action against the Senior Special Assistant (Public Prosecution) to the President, Mr. Obono Obla, over similar case of certificate forgery as clearly indicated by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) which indicted him before the Federal House of Representatives.
The rights said the development means that the Federal Government is only out to witch-hunt the PDP governorship hopeful, Senator Adeleke, so as to stop him from reaping the fruit of his political labour after been returned as the lawfully elected Governor of Osun State which the All Progressive Congress (APC) has usurped and INEC failed to issue Senator Adeleke the certificate of return as the winner of last year’s governorship poll in Osun State and not the APC.
HURIWA condemned the Presidency for failing to sack the Communications Minister, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, who has no valid NYSC discharged certificate.
“The Nigerian Police, by this shameless act of perfidy has violated section 42(1) of the constitution by carrying out a discriminatory and selective enforcement of the law.
HURIWA recalled that the House of Representatives had few weeks back written to the Federal Government, demanding it to act on the House resolution calling for the sack and investigation of the Chairman, Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SIP) and Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Mr. Obono-Obla.
The letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, referenced NASS/CAN/105/Vol. 25/044 was dated February 5, 2019 and signed by the Clerk to the National Assembly (CAN), Mr. Sani Omolori and referenced.
Those copied for their immediate actions were the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF); Inspector-General of Police, Chief Justice of Nigeria; President Nigeria Bar Association (NBA); Vice Chancellor, University of Jos; Director-General, Nigeria Law School; Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Chairman, National Universities Commission (NUC); Chairman, Council of Legal Education; Nigeria Law School; and the Chairman, Body of Benchers. The CNA noted that “the purpose of this letter is to convey the Resolutions of the House to you and to request that you kindly bring same to the notice of Mr. President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and all concerned for further necessary action.”
It could be recalled that the House had indicted Obono-Obla of forgery of West African Examination Council (WAEC) result following both oral and written testimonies by the examination body. Whereas the WAEC result (Examination No. 09403/247 May/June 1982) with which Obono-Obla obtained his degree in Law indicates that he made five credit passes, including Literature-in-English, official letters from WAEC to the House of Representatives dated 11th and 17th April 2018 and signed by Mr. A. A Okelezue and Mr. Olu Adenipekun, respectively, showed that he did not sit for Literature-in-English. Also, in his oral testimony under oath, WAEC Deputy Registrar, Mr. Femi Ola, affirmed the allegation, describing the result Obono-Obla’s parades as “altered”, “not genuine”, and “invalid”.
HURIWA however lamented that more than three months since the House adopted the report of its ad hoc committee that investigated the presidential aide and the SPIP, President Buhari, IGP, AGF, UNIJOS, NBA, Body of Benchers, Nigeria Law School, among others are yet to act.
The rights group recalled that an Abuja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday admitted Sen. Ademola Adeleke, the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party in Osun, to bail in the sum of N2 million.
The Police arraigned Adeleke in a Mpape Chief Magistrates’ Court, on five counts of certificate forgery.
Mr. Adeleke was charged with alleged false statement that he attended Ede Muslim Grammar School in Ede, Osun State and he obtained WASC, attached statement of result.
The police also alleged that Adeleke forged the school letter of attestation purported to have been signed by one Mr. Abbas Khalid, the principal of the school.
The Magistrate, Mohammed Zubairu, admitted Adeleke to bail with one surety in like sum and ordered that the surety must reside within the court’s jurisdiction.
He also held that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter and then adjourned the case until June 24, for further hearing.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Simon Lough, told the court that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 164, 164, 362, 362 and 364.
Adeleke pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defence counsel, Adebeyi Adeyosoye, prayed that the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms or self-recognition.
He assured that his client will not jump bail as he is a reliable and well know citizen.
NAN reports that before the arraignment, Adeyosoye raised an objection over the jurisdiction of the court.
His objection was premised on grounds that a Higher Court on Monday, May 6, 2019, granted him leave to travel to the U.S. for medical attention from May 7, to June 9.
Adeyosoye also said that the court made an order restraining the police from arresting Adeleke.
He prayed that the court should adjourn the matter sine die, pending the determination of a similar suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Adeyosoye also said that the court has no jurisdiction to handle the matter.
He said the arraignment was a ploy to embarrass the defendant and also impracticable to continue with the arraignment.
Adeyosoye also said it will be a breach of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
But the prosecution counsel, Lough, who did not object to the documents, said he was not served.
He opposed the application because, he said, the objection was misplaced and misconceive, the court did not say the defendant should not be arraigned in court.
Lough also said the court has the jurisdiction to handle the matter.
HURIWA said by their actions and inactions which promotes impunity and selectivity, the Nigerian police for e has undermined constitutional democracy and must be called to order by the National Assembly and credible civil society organisations to save democracy from sliding into totalitarianism.
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