By Ikechukwu NNOCHIRI, Abuja
The embattled gubernatorial candidate of the Action Congress (AC), in the April 14, 2007 elections in Osun State, Chief Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola has asked an Abuja ChiefÂ Magistrate’s Court sitting in Life Camp, to discontinue further hearing on the criminal suit instituted against him by the Inspector General of Police before it.
He is contending that the lower court had no option but to hands-offÂ the case as doing otherwise would amount to it sitting in an appellate capacity against the judgment delivered by an Ibadan division of the Court ofÂ Appeal on March 30, 2009.
The said judgment was in the election petition appeal he filed against the sitting Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Onyinola.
The AC chieftain, who filed a preliminary objection through his counsel Chief Femi Falana yesterday, is urging the lower court to dismiss the criminal proceeding against him for being a flagrant violation of the 1999 Constitution of the FederalÂ Republic ofÂ Nigeria or to alternatively stay further proceedings in the matter pending the final determination ofÂ the election petition re-trial Tribunal sitting in Oshogbo, Osun State.
Aregbesola who is currently on bail, denounced all the criminal charges preferred against him by the Police as nothing but a ploy to frustrate the Appeal Courtâ€™s Judgment that had ordered that the controversial police report upon which he is being prosecuted before the Magistrate’s court, be admitted into evidence at the re-constituted Tribunal mandated to hear afresh his petition challenging the election of the incumbent Governor of Osun State.
It would be recalled that the Police had arrested and arraigned him over the criminal allegations of conspiracy, forgery and using as genuine forged document.
He was charged alongside one Mr Olayinka Okedara, who was actually his counsel in the election petition before the Tribunal sitting in Osogbo.
Aregbesola joined the Inspector General of Police and the Commissioner of Police Osun State Police Command, as the 1366th and 1367th respondents respectively in the petition.
He had on May 15, 2008, tendered from the bar, a certified true copy of a document titled â€œFinal Security Report on April 14,2007 gubernatorial/House of Assembly elections in Osun Stateâ€ before the Justice Naron led panel which not only rejected same but went further to deliver its Judgment in favour of the incumbent governor Prince Onyinola.
Dissatisfied with the judgment, Aregbesola proceeded on appeal, challenging the interlocutory decision of the Tribunal in which the police report was rejected.
He succeeded in getting the higher court to not only void the Judgment of the Justice Naron panel but to further order the retrial of the matter by a fresh panel.
Proceeding in the fresh Tribunal has been in full swing since July 2009 at Oshogbo, Osun State.