HURIWA Condemns Persecution Of Senator Adeleke
A leading pro-democracy organization – HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned the politically motivated persecution over alleged certificate forgery of the court’s adjudged winner of last year’s Osun state governorship election – Senator Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by the Nigeria police..
The Rights group also through the media statement authorised by the National coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko AND THE National media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf warned the police about its persistent selective approach to law enforcement skewed in favour of the ruling party at the federal level just as the Rights group says the discriminatory and arbitrary arrest of the opposition politician and the failure of president Muhammadu Buhari and the police to take action against the senior special assistant (public prosecution) to the president Mr. Obono Obla over similar case of certificate forgery as clearly indicated by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) which indicted him before the Federal House of Representatives means that the Federal government is only out to witch-hunt the PDP governorship hopeful- Senator Adeleke so as to stop him from reaping the fruit of his political labour after been returned as the lawfully elected governor of Osun state which the All Progressive Congress (APC) has usurped and INEC failed to issue Senator Adeleke the certificate of return as the winner of last year’s governorship poll in Osun state and not the APC. HURIWA condemned the Presidency for failing to sack the communications minister Mr Shittu who has no valid NYSC discharged certificate.
“The Nigerian police by this shameless act of perfidy has violated section 42(1) of the constitution by carrying out a discriminatory and selective enforcement of the law.
Section 42(1) of the constitution which is supreme and binding on all authorities and persons states thus:-
"42.(1) A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:-
(a) Be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or
(b) Be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religious or political opinions.
(2) No citizen of Nigeria shall be subjected to any disability or deprivation merely by reason of the circumstances of his birth.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) of this section shall invalidate any law by reason only that the law imposes restrictions with respect to the appointment of any person to any office under the State or as a member of the armed forces of the Federation or member of the Nigeria Police Forces or to an office in the service of a body, corporate established directly by any law in force in Nigeria."
HURIWA recalled that the House of Representatives had few weeks back written to the Federal Government, demanding it to act on the House resolution calling for the sack and investigation of the Chairman, Special Investigation Panel for the Recovery of Public Property (SIP) and Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Mr. Okoi Obono-Obla.
The letter to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha, referenced NASS/CAN/105/Vol. 25/044 was dated 5th February 2019 and signed by the Clerk to the National Assembly (CAN), Mr. Sani Omolori and referenced.
Those copied for their immediate actions were the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF); Inspector-General of Police, Chief Justice of Nigeria; President Nigeria Bar Association (NBA); Vice Chancellor, University of Jos; Director-General, Nigeria Law School; Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC); Chairman, National Universities Commission (NUC); Chairman, Council of Legal Education; Nigeria Law School; and the Chairman, Body of Benchers. The CNA noted that “the purpose of this letter is to convey the Resolutions of the House to you and to request that you kindly bring same to the notice of Mr. President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and all concerned for further necessary action”.
The letter reads: “The House of Representatives on Thursday, 20th December 2018, considered the Report of the AD-HOC Committee on Finance to Investigate the Legality and Modus Operandi of the Special Presidential Panel and subsequently recommended that:
“The president should be urged to dissolve the panel in view of the arbitrary use of powers and abuse of Office by the Chairman;
“Code of Conduct Bureau should be utilized to perform the gap that the Panel seeks to fill in the current anti-corruption drive; “The President of the FRN should discharge Chief Okoi Obono-Obla of his responsibility as Special Adviser and Chairman of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel (SPIP);
“The Independent corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) should investigate the allegations of corruption contained in the Audit Report of the Auditor-General of the Federation on the financial transactions of the Panel and prosecute the culprits; “The Law Degree of Chief Okoi Okono- Obla, having been obtained fraudulently, be withdrawn by University of Jos;
“The Council of Legal Education should withdraw the Law School Certificate awarded Ofem Okoi Ofem (now known as Chief Okoi Obono-Obla) as it was based on the degree which he obtained from the University of Jos through fraud; “The Body of Benchers should withdraw the Call to Bar Certificate issued to Chief Okoi Obono-Obla; “The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) should prosecute Chief Okoi Obono-Obla before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee; and “Chief Okoi Obono -Obla should be prosecuted by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and charged to court for forgery and misrepresentation”.
It could be recalled that the House had indicted Obono-Obla of forgery of West African Examination Council (WAEC) result following both oral and written testimonies by the examination body. Whereas the WAEC result (Examination No. 09403/247 May/June 1982) with which Obono-Obla obtained his degree in Law indicates that he made five credit passes, including Literature-in-English, official letters from WAEC to the House of Representatives dated 11th and 17th April 2018 and signed by Mr. A. A Okelezue and Mr. Olu Adenipekun, respectively, showed that he did not sit for Literature-in-English. Also, in his oral testimony under oath, WAEC Deputy Registrar, Mr. Femi Ola, affirmed the allegation, describing the result Obono-Obla’s parades as “altered”, “not genuine”, and “invalid”.
HURIWA lamented however, that more than three months since the House adopted the report of its ad hoc committee that investigated the presidential aide and the SPIP, President Buhari, IGP, AGF, UNIJOS, NBA, Body of Benchers, Nigeria Law School, among others are yet to act.
HURIWA recalled that an Abuja Chief Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday admitted Sen. Ademola Adeleke, the flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party in Osun, to bail in the sum of N2 million.
The police arraigned Adeleke in a Mpape Chief Magistrates’ Court, on five counts of certificate forgery.
Mr Adeleke was charged with alleged false statement that he attended Ede Muslim Grammar School in Ede, Osun State and he obtained WASC, attached statement of result.
The police also alleged that Adeleke forged the school letter of attestation purported to have been signed by one Mr Abbas Khalid, the principal of the school.
The Magistrate, Mohammed Zubairu, admitted Adeleke to bail with one surety in like sum.
Mr Zubairu also ordered that the surety must reside within the court’s jurisdiction.
He also held that the court has jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
Mr Zubairu then adjourned the case until June 24, for further hearing.
Earlier, the Prosecution Counsel, Simon Lough told the court that the offence contravened the provisions of sections 164, 164, 362, 362 and 364.
Adeleke pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The defence counsel, Adebeyi Adeyosoye, prayed that the court to grant his client bail on liberal terms or self-recognition.
He assured that his client will not jump bail as he is a reliable and well know citizen.
NAN reports that before the arraignment, Adeyosoye raised an objection over the jurisdiction of the court.
His objection was premised on grounds that a Higher Court on Monday, May 6, 2019, granted him leave to travel to the U.S. for medical attention from May 7, to June 9.
Adeyosoye also said that the court made an order restraining the police from arresting Adeleke.
He prayed that the court should adjourn the matter sine die, pending the determination of a similar suit before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Adeyosoye also said that the court has no jurisdiction to handle the matter.
He said the arraignment was a ploy to embarrass the defendant and also impracticable to continue with the arraignment.
Adeyosoye also said it will be a breach of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
But the prosecution counsel, Lough, who did not object to the documents, said he was not served.
He opposed the application because, he said, the objection was misplaced and misconceive, the court did not say the defendant should not be arraigned in court.
Lough also said the court has the jurisdiction to handle the matter.
HURIWA said by their actions and inactions which promotes impunty and selectivity, the Nigerian police for e has undermined constitutional democracy and must be called to order by the National Assembly and credible civil society organisations to save democracy from sliding into totalitarianism.