Senator Ademola Adeleke, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, has reacted to claims that he forged his academic credentials to vie for the governorship position in the State.
The recent claim that Mr Adeleke falsified his West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate was made by Festus Keyamo, the director-general of Strategic Communications for President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organization.
The legal practitioner also said those who sought to be governor or president of the country could actualize their ambition without the aforementioned document.
Mr Keyamo is not the first to make the allegation. The All Progressive Congress (APC) in the state had made similar claim when it dragged the PDP candidate to court.
The presidential spokesman was outlining the difference between the certificate scandals involving his principal and the lawmaker when he rekindled the issue already settled at the court.
But denying he forged his academic credentials, Adeleke through his campaign organisation, said the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was speaking out of ignorance.
“Our attention has been drawn to a tweet credited to Mr. Festus Keyamo that Senator Ademola Adeleke forged a statement of result he presented for election and that WAEC did not attest his certificate,” a statement from the group signed by Niyi Owolade, read on Tuesday.
“We suspect that Mr. Keyamo must have been misinformed or failed to get his facts correctly.
“For his information and that of the general public, both WAEC and the school principal of Ede Muslim High school, Ede attested Senator Adeleke’s result through sworn affidavits before FCT High Court, Bwari.
“We advise the President’s campaign spokesman to get his facts straight before making public statements
“Being a Senior Advocate of Nigeria demands that level of responsibility. Senator Ademola Adeleke did not at any time forge any certificate for this election or for any other purpose.
“Let us repeat for the umpteenth time that the principal of Ede Muslim High School, Ede and WAEC were summoned by the court in a case filed by the APC against Senator Adeleke.
“The principal through a sworn affidavit attested the statement of results presented by the PDP candidate for his election and a Deputy Registrar of WAEC did the same through an affidavit of evidence.
“The two affidavits were widely published in the newspapers and are available in court papers. WAEC not only attested Adeleke’s result, the school authority, through the principal also did.
“At this stage in Osun election cases, all the facts are in public domain and nothing can be spinned again.
“First, the public is fully aware that both WAEC and the Principal attested to Adeleke’s qualification.
“Secondly, by the combined effect of Sections 177 and 318 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, Senator Ademola Adeleke is qualified to contest for the office of a State Governor.
“Thirdly and much more critical, WAEC and the principal affirmed in their respective affidavits that there was no forgery as results submitted by Adeleke tallied with their records.
“We wish to conclude by informing the public once again that apart from the above attestation of Adeleke’s qualification, there are two subsisting high court judgments, affirming Senator Adeleke’s eligibility to contest for office if Governor,” the statement added.