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Osun Election: Adeleke speaks on certificate scandal

Following the alleged involvement of the People’s Democratic Party’s governorship candidate for Osun State, Ademola Adeleke, in a secondary school certificate scandal, the embattled lawmaker has reacted to the raging controversy.

The Nigerian Police last week Wednesday invited the Principal of Ede Muslim High School 1, Abass Khalib, for investigation over the issuance of a statement of result and testimonial to Mr Adeleke, which some claimed was not genuine.

Mr Abass was said to have allegedly signed the statement of results and testimonial of Mr Adeleke, who reportedly finished his secondary school education in 1981.

Responding to the allegations, Mr Adeleke, through the Director of Media and Publicity of Senator Ademola Adeleke Campaign Organization, Olawale Rasheed, in a statement on Sunday demanded the release of the principal of Ede Muslim High School 1.

Mr Adeleke said Mr Abass’ arrest was politically motivated because of “date error”.

“We are constrained to issue this statement on the recent arrest and persecution of the principal of Ede Muslim High School over false accusations of forged school testimonial issued to Senator Ademola Adeleke as a former student of the school because of a date error. We note with great alarm the politically motivated arrest and unwarranted media attacks designed as a tool of harassment, persecution and character assassination of the PDP flag bearer, Senator Ademola Nurudeen Adeleke,” he said.

Mr Adeleke called on police authorities to redirect their attention to “investigating and solving real crimes and not trumped up accusations”.

“It must be reaffirmed that issuance of a testimonial duly signed by authorities of the school to an ex-student cannot be a crime irrespective of the date on it. There is clearly more to this exercise than routine investigation. How can a date issue on a testimonial and not a certificate be a matter that attracts the attention of FCIB Alagbon officers from Lagos?

“We, therefore, call on the police authorities to unconditionally release Mr Abbass Khalib Adejare, the principal of Ede Muslim High School who is currently held in Lagos, a distant and disconnected jurisdiction of school in Ede, Osun State.”

“The school under his supervision had only performed a legal administrative duty through the issuance of a testimonial. Please note that a testimonial is simply a statement of character attestation and confirmation of the years of attendance at the school and not a school certificate,” the statement read.

The spokesperson was silent on the revelation that Mr Adeleke’s claim to have graduated from an American university is also false.

This newspaper published how the university stated that although the politician was once it’s student, he did not graduate contrary to his claim.

Meanwhile, unimpressed by the statement, a group in Osun, Renewal Youth Movement (RYM), has demanded his withdrawal from the September 22 Osun State governorship election.

The group in a statement signed by two of its leaders, Muftau Adegoke and Rasheed Adegbenro, said Mr Adeleke ought not to have sailed through the party process in the first place and demanded that those that conducted the screening be investigated as well.

“If PDP leaders are sincere; if they are not corrupt and if they want the good of all, Senator Adeleke ought not to have scaled through the party’s screening process in the first instance. Those who conducted the screening should also be investigated. They cannot be naïve not to know genuine documents from fake.

“We don’t want to believe that their palms have been greased. What is going on in the state is not only an open sore to the Adeleke’s dynasty that has shown great interest in education to the extent of establishing a private university but it a shame to the entire Osun State citizens that a serving senator who wants to govern them can be enmeshed in such a mess.”

The group said the only saving grace for Mr Adeleke is to step aside by allowing a “more competent person” to contest the election under the PDP platform.

“Already, some people are in the police net including the principal of Muslim Grammar School, Ede over the alleged certificate forgery. We feel that the forthcoming election should be a robust exercise where indigenes would have the opportunity to elect a competent candidate as the governor among many. Adeleke’s certificate mess has shot the PDP in the leg (sic) and has put the party in a very tight and difficult situation.”

“Our group is of the firm opinion that the PDP has lost the election before the contest and even if the party wins, such victory will definitely be short-lived as co-contestants from other political parties by now must have prepared grounds for the Tribunal.”

RYM however, said following the provision of-of Section 31 sub-sections 1 – 8 of the Electoral Act, it would be difficult for Mr Eleke to run in the September 22 governorship election with the ongoing cases instituted against him and if he refused to step down early, PDP may not present anyone for the said election.

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