AN Osun State High Court, sitting in Osogbo, on Monday adjourned ruling to Wednesday on the preliminary objection filed by Senator Ademola Adeleke against motion ex-parte, seeking an interim injunction to disqualify him from standing as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the September 22 gubernatorial poll.
The plaintiffs, namely Olatunji Rasheed Olabayo and Oluwasegun Idowu Thomas in the suit no HOS/19/03/2018 had joined Nurudeen Jackson Ademola Adeleke as the (1st), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) (2nd), Chief Uche Secondus (3rd ), Soji Adagunodo (4th) and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as 5th defendants
The plaintiffs had approached the court with a sworn affidavit, arguing that Senator Adeleke did not possess a certificate as required by Section 177 (d) of the 1999 constitution and urged them to set aside the July 21st, 2018 primary election which produced him as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
But when the matter came up before the court on Monday, the presiding judge, Justice David Oladimeji adjourned the delivery of judgment in the matter to Wednesday, August 8, declaring that “let’s all come back on the 8th of August for the ruling.”
Earlier, counsel to the plaintiffs, Barrister Olufemi Ayandokun contended that “before now, all we have is a preliminary objection. Now they have filed counter affidavit and horns are locked, we are ready for everything to be taken together.”
He maintained that “what we are looking at is for the 1st defendant to present before the court on oath on certain documents as proof that he has education up to secondary school level. We have copiously stated that the documents he presented to INEC are forged. We want to refer to exhibit GE2, which is the purported school testimonial of Ede Muslim Grammar School.”
According to Ayandokun, “we want the court to take notice of the date on the testimonial. It is dated 20th July 1988. We also urge the court to take note that Osun State was created in 1991. We want the court to note that Osun was not in existence at the date of issuance of the document, which was 20th July 1988. Secondly, the testimonial stated that 1st defendant (Adeleke) attended Ede Muslim High School for three years.”
He continued, “the Senior Secondary School Examination (SSCE), which was the 6-3-3-4 education system was not in existence. We want the court to discountenance exhibit GE2 of counter affidavit of the 1st respondent with exhibit PDP2 in counter affidavit of the 4th defendant. The plaintiffs have the locus to bring the matter before this court.”
Citing the case of Wema Security and Finance Plc Vs Nigeria Agricultural Insurance Corporation (NAICON) 2015/16/LWLR, Ayandokun submitted that the 1st defendant was not bound to present forged documents, saying “we want this court to dismiss the preliminary objection of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants as grossly lacking merit.”
He argued that “we want the court to uphold our motion on notice on the interlocutory injunction and grant all our reliefs sought in our originating summons.
While opposing the submission of Ayandokun, counsel to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendants, Barrister Edmund Biriomini urged the court to dismiss the suit for lack of merit and jurisdiction, pointing out that his clients “filed a 48 page counter affidavit deposed to by the 1st defendant and attached to it are four exhibit.”
Biriomini further argued that “we raised nine issues for determination and rely on the argument contained therein and support same with a counter affidavit as we urge the court to dismiss the suit for lack of merit and jurisdiction.”
According to him, “paragraph 3 of the counter affidavit of the plaintiffs admitted that 1st defendant sat for GCE ordinary level in May June 1981 and his examination number is 19645/149. Ede Muslim Grammar school is also the same as Ede Muslim High School. No reasonable ground avail the plaintiffs to bring the matter to court. The school has not come out to disclaim the statement of result issued to 1st defendant. He applied for a testimonial and he was given”.
In his argument, counsel to the Osun State chairman of the PDP, Barrister A. Olayiwola posited that “we align ourselves with the argument of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd defendant and urge the court to strike out the suit for lack of competence and jurisdiction”.
He stated, ‘in the paragraph 10 of the plaintiff affidavit in support of their summons, they admitted that the 1st defendant is educated to the secondary school level. Must he make grade “A” in all the subjects? What are they contending again? We want your Lordship to dismiss the suit for lack of merit.”