…..as court adjourns hearing till June 10
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA – The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, on Wednesday, adjourned further hearing on the examination malpractice charge the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, levelled against Senator Ademola Adeleke, till June 10.
Police had in a seven-count charge it entered before the court, alleged that Adeleke who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the last Governorship election in Osun State, fraudulently registered and sat for the June/July 2017 Senior School Certificate Examination that held in February 2017.
He was charged alongside his brother, Sikiru Adeleke, the Principal of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro Osun State, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau, the School Registrar, Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo, and a teacher in the school, Dare Samuel Olutope.
In the amended charge marked FHC/ABJ/CR/156/2018, and dated December 15, 2018, Police, maintained that the Defendants, committed examination malpractices by fraudulently, through impersonation, registering Adeleke and his brother, Sikiru, as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School in Osun State, for the National Examination Council, NECO, June/July 2017 Senior School Certificate Examination.
The prosecution has so far produced four witnesses to testify in the matter.
At the resumed trial on Wednesday, NECO Supervisor, Mr. Odesola Emmanuel, who appeared as the third prosecution witness, PW-3, told the court that out of 58 candidates that sat for the 2017 exam, he did not see the two Adeleke brothers (Ademola and Sikiru).
The witness, who told the court that he supervised candidates that sat for Economics exam, added that though Ademola’s name appeared in the NECO Register as No 057, he was not sighted in the examination hall.
While being cross-examined by Adeleke’s lawyer, Dr. Alex Iziyon, SAN, the PW-3, noted that in the absence of a photo album, he would not be able to identify each of the 58 candidates that sat for the NECO exam with identity cards that were issued to them by the exam body.
He maintained that it was not possible for NECO to issue result to any candidate that did not participate in its examination, saying he would be very surprised if such happened in Adeleke’s case.
Similarly, the PW-4, Mr. Adigun Enoch, told the court that he never saw the PDP’s flag-bearer in the hall.
Enoch told the court that he was the invigilator that supervised the candidates in four subjects.
He identified Sikiru who was in the dock as one of the candidates that sat for the June /July 2017 Senior School Certificate Examination, saying he only knew Ademola as a public figure in Ogun State, not as a candidate for any of the subjects he supervised.
It will be recalled that two witnesses that earlier testified in the matter, Buhari Moshood and Isamotu Funmilayo, who were equally supervisors during the said examination, also denied seeing the Senator in the exam hall.
Led in evidence by the prosecution counsel, Mr. Simon Lough, the first witness, PW-1, Moshood, told the court that on June 21, 2017, while acting as supervisor, he saw five matured men among the students billed to participate in the NECO Exams.
The witness, who claimed to have been a teacher for 35 years, said he could only identify Adeleke’s brother, Sikiru who is the 2nd defendant, among the five matured men he saw participating in the English Language exam he supervised.
The PW-1 who however identified an exam paper bearing the name of Adeleke Ademola, insisted that he did not see the defendant on the seat in the exam hall, saying he did not challenge the adult persons in the examination hall because it was not his duty to do so.
While being cross-examined Senator Adeleke’s lawyer, the witness said he would be surprised to see NECO issuing certificate to anybody who did not sit for the exams.
He admitted that the identities of all the students in their identification cards were in order, adding that no police was present in the school to confirm if indeed the lawmaker partook in the exams.
On his part, the PW-2, Funmilayo, who claimed to have been a teacher for 13 years, told the court that she supervised English Literature Paper on July 17, 2017, and that she saw two matured men in the exam hall but could only identify Adeleke’s brother as one of them.
She told the court that Sikiru sat quietly with his exams papers and conducted himself properly throughout the process.
Under cross examination, the witness also denied seeing Senator Adeleke in the exam hall.
She further told the court that the result of the exam belonging to Senator Adeleke, where he scored C5, was shown to her by the police at the State Investigation and Intelligence Bureau, Oshogbo, Osun State.
The second witness further told the court that the authorities of the school have the duty to register students for the exams.
She insisted that exams she supervised was most peaceful as there was no exam malpractice throughout the period of her supervision.