The Oasis Reporters
May 31, 2019
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja on Thursday declared that Senator Ademola Adeleke did not forge any certificate as both WAEC and the secondary school he attended authenticated the educational documents he submitted for his elections.
The People’s Democratic Party, PDP immediately hailed the judgment of the Court of Appeal which ruled that its victorious Osun State governorship candidate, Senate Ademola Adeleke, was constitutionally qualified to contest the governorship election and describes the judgment as a triumph of justice and the will of the people of Osun state over oppressive forces.
It also notes that the ruling of the Court of Appeal has finally put to rest all contentions about the educational qualification of Senator Adeleke and renders all such cases in lower courts incompetent.
The party says that in ruling that the FCT High Court was wrong in nullifying Senator Adeleke’s candidacy “when the evidence before the court proved that Adeleke had met all the constitutional requirements”, for the election.
The Appeal Court has affirmed justice and restored the verdict of the Osun people on the eligibility of our candidate to stand for election.
Moreover, the findings of the Appeal Court that the FCT High Court lacked powers to entertain the matter, since the issues therein are related to what transpired in Osun State, serves as a lesson to desperate politicians engaging in abuse of court processes.
PDP commends these Justices of the Court of Appeal for restoring the confidence reposed on the judiciary as the last hope of the common man and counseled the APC and its agents to end their unnecessary attacks on Senator Adeleke and allow the people of Osun State benefit from their victory.
The @OfficialPDPNig commends these Justices of the Court of Appeal for restoring the confidence reposed on the judiciary as the last hope of the common man and counseled the APC and its agents to end their unnecessary attacks on Senator Adeleke and allow the people of…
— Official PDP Nigeria (@OfficialPDPNig) May 30, 2019
Ruling in a landmark appeal against an earlier judgement of the FCT High Court ,Justice Emmanuel Agim strongly affirmed that all facts and evidence on the educational qualification of Senator Adeleke conclusively proved that he neither forged nor manipulated any certificate or testimonial for electoral or any other purposes.
In the epochal ruling, the judge affirmed that the authority to authenticate the testimonial was the school principal who testified on oath and attached the certified copy of the testimonial.
The judge submitted that the head of the school, the principal is the custodian of the school records and his testimonies and submission must be believed, adding that any error on the testimonial is inconsequential especially as the issuing authority accepted the alleged errors on the testimonial as consequence of mistakes by the school Registrar.
“Admission of error on a document by the authority that issued it cannot be treated as case of forgery against the recipient, the judge declaratively affirmed.
While expressing surprise at the refusal of the lower court to believe the testimonies and affidavits of WAEC and the school principal, the judge held that the statement of results submitted by the defendant (Senator Adeleke) was validated and confirmed by WAEC which submitted certified true copies of examination ledger and statement of results which the judge said did not conflict in terms of grades obtained by the Senator.
The judgement further emphasised that based on the evidence available to the lower court, Ademola Adeleke did not drop out of Ede Muslim Grammar school as the testimony of WAEC before the lower court proved that the Senator indeed completed the secondary school years and duly sat for the final examinations.
The testimony of the school principal, the judge stressed further, equally proved that the defendant was a student of the said school who was issued the testimonial the respondents were disputing .
Asking why the trial judge rejected affidavits and testimonies his court secured through summons of WAEC and the School principal, the judge chided the High Court, Bwari for ignoring evidence and documents provided in affidavits by the statutory educational body, WAEC and the school principal of the school attended by Senator Adeleke.
According to Justice Agim, it is the duty of a trial court to evaluate all evidences before arriving at conclusions. He strongly questioned and faulted the non-consideration of the affidavits and testimonies from WAEC and the school principal both of which exonerated Senator Adeleke of any alleged certificate forgery and also affirmed his qualification to contest for the governorship election.
The non-evaluation of the affidavits summoned by the court is a violation of the right of the Senator to fair hearing and a strange handling of judicial process, the judge said.
The judge affirmed further that the lower court not only ignored the substantive evidence that was key to resolving the issue, but proceeded to misinterpret the other evidence pertaining to the testimonial.