Senator Ademola Adeleke (Osun West) and four others were yesterday arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja for allegedly engaging in examination malpractices.
Also arraigned were Sikiru Adeleke (who is said to be the senator’s relative), Alhaji Aregbesola Mufutau (the school principal), Gbadamosi Thomas Ojo (registrar) and Dare Samuel Olutope (teacher).
The five were arraigned on a four-count charge marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/156/2018, filed in the name of the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
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.
The other three defendants were accused of aiding the commission of the alleged offence.
They pleaded not guilty when the charge was read to them, following which their lawyers prayed the court to grant them bail pending trial.
Alex Izinyon (SAN) appeared for Senator Adeleke, while Nathaniel Oke (SAN) appeared for Sikiru Adeleke.
The first three defendants, on whose behalf bail applications were filed and argued, were granted bail by Justice I. E. Ekwo.
Ojo and Olutope, who were represented by Isaac Adeniyi on October 15 when the case earlier came up, were not represented by any lawyer yesterday. No bail applications were also filed for them.
However, during the proceedings, Oke made an oral application for their bail, which the judge disallowed and insisted that a formal application be filed for them.
Ruling, Justice Ekwo ordered the remand of Ojo and Olutope in prison pending the hearing of their bail application.
For Senator Adeleke, the judge granted him bail on self- recognition and directed that he should endorse a bond to always be available for his trial.
Justice Ekwo ordered that Senator Adeleke should deposit his passport with the registrar and must not travel out of the country without the permission of the court.
For the two others, the court granted each bail at N2million with one surety, who must be a “responsible” citizen and an owner of landed property within the court’s jurisdiction.
They are to deposit their passports with the court’s registry and are not to travel out of the country without the court’s permission.
Dressed in a traditional attire (buba and sokoto), with his signature cap, Adeleke kept a calm disposition throughout the about 45 minutes proceedings.
Shortly after the proceedings, the senator was seen making calls, while the other defendants made efforts to perfect the bail granted them.
Unlike the show of solidarity exhibited by leaders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when former Ekiti State Governor Ayo Fayose was recently taken to court, no prominent PDP member was in court yesterday.
In the first count preferred against the defendants, the prosecution alleged that the five defendants “conspired to commit felony, to wit: examination malpractices, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 10 of the Examination Malpractices Act Cap E15 LFN 2004.”
In count 2, the prosecution alleged that the three members of staff of the school acted in concert by aiding and abetting “the commission of examination malpractice by personation” when they allegedly “registered Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke”, knowing or having “reasons to believe that they are not students of the school”.
The alleged offence was said to be contrary to Section 9(1) of the Examination Malpractices Act Cap E15 LFN 2004.
In count three, the two Adelekes were accused of acting in concert, and “personated as students of Ojo-Aro Community Grammar School when you fraudulently registered as students of the school in the June/July, 2017 NECO”.
The offence is said to be contrary to Section 3(2) of the Examination Malpractices Act Cap E15 LFN 2004.
The fourth count accused the three members of staff of the school of “acting in concert” and while “saddled with the responsibilities of registering students of your school in the June/July 2017 NECO examination, breached that duty by registering Senator Ademola Adeleke and Sikiru Adeleke as students of your school in the June/July 2017 NECO examination when you know or had reasons to believe that they are not students of the school”.
The fourth count was said to be contrary to Section 10(a) and punishable under Section 3(2) of the Examination Malpractices Act Cap E15 LFN 2004.