The prosecution in the trial of former governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Senator Ademola Adelake and for others on examination malpractices charges, withdrew charges against the politician on Thursday.
Adeleke was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Abuja in October 2018 along with 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).
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.
At the resumed hearing on Thursday, prosecution lawyer, Simon Lough said the state has amended the charge to exclude Adeleke, in view of his continued absence in court.
Adeleke has failed to attend court since last year when he was granted permission, by the trial judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo, to travel to the United States on medical grounds.
Lawyers to the defendants, led by Alex Izinyon (SAN) did not object to the prosecution’s decision to amend its charge.
They however disagreed with the prosecution on the appropriate order to be made; whether Adeleke should be simply discharged, based on the withdrawal of the charge against him, or whether he should be discharged and acquitted.
Justice Ekwo has fixed ruling on the issue for Friday (May 29).
The other defendants pleaded not guilty when they were re-arraigned on the amended seven-count charge.
Justice Ekwo agreed with the defence lawyers that the defendants should continue to enjoy the bail earlier granted them.