A Federal High Court in Abuja has scheduled ruling for January 26, 2021 in the no-case submissions made by the defendants in a case of alleged examination malpractices involving a relative of former governorship candidate in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke, Sikiru Adeleke and three others.
Other defendants are: Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (the Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro, Osun State), Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (the school’s Registrar) and Dare Samuel Olutope (a teacher in the school).
Justice Inyang Ekwo chose the date on Tuesday after parties adopted their written addresses in relation to the defendants’ no-case objection.
Justice Ekwo said he chose a fairly long adjourned date in view of the crowded court’s docket but told parties they would be informed should the ruling be ready before then.
The defence team led by Nathaniel Oke (SAN), while adopting the defendants’ addresses, argued that the prosecution failed, through its five witnesses, to establish a prima facie case against the defendants to warrant their being called upon to enter defence.
The defendants prayed the court to uphold their no-case submissions, dismiss the charge and acquit them.
Lawyer to the prosecution, Simon Lough, argued otherwise.
He insisted the prosecution has sufficiently made out a case against the defendants to require them to be ordered to enter their defence.
Lough prayed the court to reject the defendants’ no-case submissions and order them to defend themselves against the offences alleged.
Senator Adeleke, who contested the last Osun State governorship election in 2018 as a candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), was initially charged with the current four defendants, and were first arraigned in late 2018.
In the initial four-count charge, Senator Adeleke and Sikiru were accused of “fraudulently, through personation,” registered 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, in the charge filed in the name of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
However, the prosecution amended the charge in December 2018 and raised the counts to seven, following which the defendants were re-arraigned on the amended charge on December 16, 2018.
On May 28, 2020 the prosecution applied to discontinue against Senator Adeleke, citing his prolonged absence from the country.
The Senator had reportedly travelled outside the country having earlier been granted leave by the court to travel abroad on health grounds.
In a ruling on May 29, 2020, Justice Ekwo granted the prosecution’s application and proceeded to discharge and acquit the politician, leaving the remaining four as defendants in the case.
Source: (The Nation)