The Oasis Reporters
July 29, 2018
Just as an Osun State High Court sitting in Osogbo, the state capital, Thursday July 26 ruled that Senator Ademola Adeleke be given the opportunity to present his certificate before the court by Wednesday, August 1, 2018, legal opinions of learned was sampled and put together by our editorial crew.
First, the story.
Rasheed Olabayo and Oluwaseun Idowu had approached the court claiming that Senator Adeleke did not possess a Certificate as required by Section 177 (d) of the 1999 constitution and told the court to set aside the July 21st, 2018 primary election which produced him as the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the state.
The court, while ruling on the ex-parte application filed by Rasheed Olabayo and Oluwaseun Idowu, explained that granting the leave to restrain the PDP from presenting Adeleke as its governorship candidate over his inability to present his certificate may subject the court to mockery if the Senator thereafter presents the certificate.
Justice David Oladimeji said, “It will be inequitable not to allow the respondent to come and show his certificate if he has any but if given the opportunity to present side of the case, the balance which is necessary for interlocutory injunction would be adequately considered.”
Justice Oladimeji explained further that the ex-parte injunction has only seven days lifespan and that there are still window left open till August 8 according to the affidavits sworn to by the applicants.
The presiding judge added that “being an election matter, it is my conviction that the public will not be uninterested in the proceedings of this court”, explaining that the importance of the matter would make the court not to grant the injunction and warned that, “once a matter is before a court any party cannot take a further step without the express permission of the court”.
Justice Oladimeji thereafter adjourned the motion on notice till Wednesday, August 1, 2018 for definite hearing, adding that no form of excuse from the litigants would be tolerated by the court.
Alhaji Taiwo Adisa, an Osun State indigene had this to say:
“Just to tell you my experience on.this certificate issue. The Appeal Court had interpreted way back in 2003 that the qualification for Senate or House of Representatives seat is attendance of a secondary school. It doesn’t matter how many credits or any number of credits as required for admission is gotten.
The court in the case of APGA candidate versus AD candidate for Ana North/ South Federal Constituency in 2003 said the fact that Mascot Kalu, younger brother of ex Gov Orji Uzor Kalu had F9 in almost all subjects in the West African Examinations Council, WAEC exam does not disqualify him as a candidate for Representatives seat. The man got re-elected for that same seat in 2007. So, according to our constitution, a Testimonial from a secondary school can even qualify you for the presidency of Nigeria. The National Assembly tried to increase the qualification to OND in the 2010 amendment but failed.
Ile Oodua a gbewa oo”
Akintunde Bello Sheriff also adds his opinion thus:
“With the admission of the plaintiffs/applicants in their affidavits that the embattled Governorship candidate attended Ede Grammar School up to the School Certificate level, they have won the whole suit for Adeleke, considering the Supreme Court Judgment below:
KAKIH v. PDP & ORS. (2014) LPELR-23277(SC) ELECTORAL MATTERS – ELECTION TO THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR – Whether it is necessary for a candidate to present a certificate to qualify for election into the office of Governor of a State
“In any case it is not a requirement of S.177(d) of the Constitution for the candidate to necessarily present the Certificate to qualify for election to the office of Governor of a State. By the provision of S.177(d) of the Constitution a person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if: (a)…(b)…(c)…(d) He has been educated up to at least school certificate level or its equivalent. By Section 318 (1) “school Certificate or its equivalent” means: (a)…(b) Educated up to secondary school certificate level.
“In BAYO v. NJIDDA (2004) 8 NWLR 544 at 630; (2004) FWLR (pt. 192) 10 at 78, the Court of Appeal then the Apex and final Court on Election petition from National Assembly / Governorship and Legislative Houses Election Tribunal had this to say on the point: “In other words as regards a secondary school certificate examination; it is enough, in my view that one attended School Certificate level i.e. without passing and obtaining the Certificate. “By the combined reading of SS. 177 (d), and 318 (b) of the Constitution is not the only requirement or basis of qualification, but whether the candidate has been educated up to Secondary School Certificate Level.” Per SULEIMAN GALADIMA ,J.S.C ( Pp. 56-57, para. C ).
Sarafa Ibrahim further added
“Let us ask Ademola Adeleke the important questions rather than focusing on trivialities or cheap blackmail that mischievous politicians insert in our consciousness to distract us from the salient issues.
Since Ademola Adeleke picked the Governorship ticket of the PDP, the media space has been awash with series of blackmail and propaganda, targeted at deriding his personality and rubbishing his development-focused ambition.
Why are we querying his secondary education when in fact, his opponent in the last Senatorial by-election was his classmate? If there was any fraud in his academic claim, his old classmate would surely have used it to his political advantage in that Senatorial election. Should that not tell us something?
Instead of joining the propaganda bandwagon, we should be asking if Ademola Adeleke has proven himself worthy of public office and if he has delivered any meaningful dividend as a Senator, being the first public office he has held.
If we ask this question, we will find that his capacity for governance ridicules whatever campaign of calumny anyone may be launching against him today.
In one year as a Senator, 50 indigent students are enjoying total scholarship for their tertiary education in a reputable private University. This is a display of empathy, selflessness and dedication to the upliftment of the downtrodden. A man who has displayed these qualities, is loaded with capacity for good governance.
In one year as a Senator, he has given electricity transformers to various communities within Osun West Senatorial District. He had the chance to say one year is too short a time to make impact as a Senator, but he instead chose to hit the ground running. If he hit the ground running as a Senator, he sure has the capacity to hit the ground running as a Governor.
As a Senator, he organized ICT training for Civil Servants. It is safe to ask what the business of a Senator is with training Civil Servants in the use of ICT. But then, where the State government failed, he accepted responsibility and did exceedingly well.
Shall we close our eyes and hearts to a man who readily accepts responsibility? Shall we say No to a man who has displayed deep desire to enhance the development of the Civil service?
Yes, he dances a lot. But, would we rather have a Governor who rides on a high horse and will never find time to mingle and have fun with his people? King David in the Bible was an unapologetic dancer, but a man of valor who never lost any battle. Instead of crucifying him for dancing, we rather should thank God we are about to get a Governor who lives in a human world, and not some demigod who will build walls of repulsion around himself.
We cannot allow cunning politicians force us into a politics of propaganda when we have the chance to elect a Governor with proven capacity. If we make this mistake, it may haunt us for centuries to come”.