Certificate fraud: Court discharges Adeleke, adjourns prosecution of Co-defendants

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The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the last governorship election in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adeleke has been discharged and acquitted by the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court.

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the court Division discharged and acquitted Adeleke due to the withdrawal of the criminal charge against him by the prosecution.

The Police had in 2018 arraigned Adeleke along with Sikiru Adeleke (who is said to be the senator’s relative), Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (the school principal), Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (a school registrar) and Dare Samuel Olutope (a teacher) on a four count charge bordering on fraud.

On Thursday when four witnesses in proof of the criminal allegations against the defenders were called, the police applied to withdraw the charge against Adeleke on grounds that he has not been available to continue trial since he was granted leave to travel abroad on medical grounds

The court had on May 6, 2019 granted Adeleke permission to travel to the United States on grounds of ill-health.

Delivering ruling in the police application, Justice Ekwo held that he was minded to discharge and acquit Adeleke in view of the prosecution’s decision to withdraw charges against him.

Justice Ekwo relying on Section 108(3) of the ACJA states: “In any trial before a court in which the prosecutor withdraws in respect of the prosecution of an offence before the defendant is called upon to make his defence, the court may, in its discretion, order the defendant to be acquitted if it is satisfied, on the merits of the case, that the order is a proper one, and when an order of acquittal is made, the court shall endorse its reasons for making the order on the record.”

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The judge then made an order allowing the prosecution’s withdrawal of the charge against Adeleke and proceeded to make order acquitting the first defendant (Adeleke).

He adjourned till June 25 for the continuation of the trial in relation to the other defendants – Sikiru Adeleke, Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau, Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo and Dare Samuel Olutope.

In the charge, Ademola and Sikiru were accused of fraudulently, through personation, registering as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School, Ojo-Aro, Osun State to enable them sit for the National Examinations Council (NECO) examination of June/July 2017.

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