Akinwale Olaniyi and Akinjide Monsuru from Egbedore and Irewole Local Government Areas, in Osun West Senatorial District, said they were misled into voting Adeleke during the last senatorial election in the district on July 8, 2017 because he claimed to have lived his adult life in America.
Olaniyi and Monsuru have filed a suit at the Federal High Court in Abuja, seeking to sack Adeleke as Senator on the grounds that he allegedly lied to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) about his academic credentials by purportedly presenting a fake Secondary School testimonial to INEC.
Adeleke was elected Senator in 2017 as the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PFP) following the demise of his senior brother, Isiaka Adeleke, who represented the district until his sudden death in 2017.
Olaniyi and Monsuru stated, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/ CS/462/2019, filed on April 26, 2019, that they voted for Adeleke at the election because he claimed to have lived and schooled in the United States of America.
The plaintiffs said they felt let down, fooled and were devastated when a High Court of the Federal High Court (FCT) in Bwari, Abuja found, in a judgment delivered on April 2, 2019, that Adeleke presented fake credentials to INEC for the election.
They are praying the court to declare among others, that, by the provisions of sections 65(2)(a)of the Constitution and 31(6) of the Electoral Act and the judgment of the FHC High Court, Adeleke was not qualified to have contested the Senatorial election.
The plaintiffs also want the court to void the declaration of Adeleke as the winner of the said election in view of the court judgment and the provisions of sections 65(2)(a)of the Constitution and 31(6) of the Electoral Act.
They want the court to order INEC to withdraw the certificate of return issued to Adeleke, and to give a perpetual order of injunction, restraining Adeleke “from parading himself as a Senator representing Osun West in the Senate.
The plaintiffs equally want the court to order Adeleke to refund all that he earned while he occupied the seat and to restrain the Senate President and the Senate form further recognizing Adeleke as a Senator.
Olaniyi stated, in a supporting affidavit, that “one of the selling points of the 1st defendant (Adeleke) during the campaign was that he had resided in the United States of America for most parts of his adult life, and he actually returned therefrom to re resent my said senatorial district at the 3rd defendant (The Senate).
“Myself and the 2nd plaintiff (Monsuru) believed honestly that the 1st defendant must have been well educated in the United States of America, hence, we voted for him at the elections to represent us at the 3rd defendant despite not being members of the 2nd defendant (People’s Democratic Party).
” I was shocked to the marrow when a neighbour informed me, while in the company of the 2nd plaintiff on 22nd April, 2019, that a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, holden at Court No. 13, Bwari, Abuja, in Suit No: FCT/HC/BW/CV/ 122/2018 had delivered a judgement, wherein the Secondary School testimonial attached to the Form CF001 submitted by the 1st defendant in the course of his aspiration to become the governor of Osun State was fake, and that the 1st defendant was not qualified, based on same, to contest for the position of Governor, as provided by our laws.
“I was also mocked by my friends and relatives, who were present when the information regarding the aforementioned judgement of court was given, as they had earlier warned me against my decision to vote for the 1st defendant at the said senatorial election.
“On enquiry, the said neighbour gave me a certified true copy (CTC) of the judgement of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, holden at Court No. 13, Bwari, Abuja in Suit No: FCT/HC/BW/CV/122/2018 delivered on 2nd April, 2019, which he obtained after he had paid the assessed fees.
“I thereafter made an application to the 5th defendant (INEC) for the release of certified true copies of the Form CF001 and attached documents submitted to the 5th defendant by the 1st defendant in the course of his aspiration for the seat of Senator, representing Osun West Senatorial District, and same was given to me after I paid the assessed fees for same.
“When I compared the Secondary School testimonial attached to the Form CF001 submitted by the 1st defendant to the 5th defendant, as evidence of his education up to school certificate level during his aspiration to represent Osun West Senatorial District, with the one described in the judgement delivered by the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Holden at Court No. 13, Bwari, Abuja in Suit No: FCT/HC/BW/CV/ 122/2018 on 2nd April, 2019, I was convinced that they are one and the same.
“I know as a fact that Osun West Senatorial District parades many qualified citizens, who can readily represent the district at the 3rd defendant.
“I also know as a fact that it is an affront on the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Nigerian State, to continue to have the 1st defendant represent Osun West Senatorial District.
“It is in the interest of justice to grant the reliefs of the claimants in this suit.”
Listed with Adeleke,as defendants in the suit are his party – the PDP, the Senate, its President and INEC.
Adeleke has described the suit as laughable and an abuse of court process, insisting that he is is eligible to contest any elections in the country.
In a statement by one of his lawyers, Niyi Owolade, Adeleke stated that “the purported voters, who filed the suit are proxy forces” of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola.
Adeleke, who is of the PDP, accused Oyetola and the APC “of waging futile legal harassment following signs of an imminent end to their usurpation of Osun governorship seat.
“The initial judgement that this irritating suit is based on has been widely condemned, especially as the document wrongly declared as forged was duly issued by the authorities of the school.
“It is in public domain and court records that the school Principal deposed to an affidavit confirming the testimonial and statement of results were duly issued by the school. WAEC’s Deputy Registrar also came to depose to an affidavit in court with the certified true copies of the same result submitted by Senator Adeleke for his senatorial election screening.
“How can any human being still declare such result as fake or forged? We declare that the suit is frivolous,clearly an abuse of court processes and a waste of the precious time of the Judiciary.
“It is important to restate that matter of qualification and eligibility have been decided in two High Court judgements in Osun state.
“A recent ruling of the Appeal Court, Akure division supports the Senator’s position. This matter is also subjudice as it is a matter of appeal before a higher court.
“Senator Adeleke reassured his supporters and people of Osun state that there is no cause for alarm as this suit will surely be dismissed in its totality.
“This APC’s desperate move will fail woefully just like the others have failed. No amount of harassment, embarrassment, intimidation and spreading of falsehood can change or stop the quest for the retrieval of the stolen mandate freely given Senator Ademola Adeleke.
“The people of Osun have spoken with their votes. Their decision and choice of leader cannot be undermined and subjugated by any abuse of force and powers.”