Posted By: Odunayo Ogunmola, Ado-Ekiti
In Ado-Ekiti Chief Magistrate’s Court has ordered the Ekiti State Commissioner of Police, Etop James, to arrest and prosecute the former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Secretary, Dr. Tope Aluko, for alleged perjury.
The order was consequent upon a motion ex-parte filed by state government in a case to arraign Aluko to answer the charge of perjury for allegedly lying under oath with his revelations on Channels Television on Sunday that the 2014 governorship poll was rigged.
But Aluko yesterday raised the alarm that there was a plot to burn his property.
Governor Ayo Fayose was declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) but his victory has been hit by allegations of rigging, aided by the military.
But police spokesman Alberto Adeyemi said the command was not aware of any court order to arrest and prosecute Aluko.
The motion ex-parte was filed pursuant to Section 117 of the Criminal Code Cap 16 Law of Ekiti State 2012, Section 79 of the Ekiti State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2014 and Section 23 (D) of the Magistrates’ Court Law 2014.
In the Motion, which was filed and moved by the State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Gbemiga Adaramola, an order of the court was sought to issue a warrant of arrest against Aluko to be executed by the Commissioner of Police for the purpose of committing him (Aluko) for trial for the offence of perjury.
The motion application was brought on four grounds, which conveyed the desire of the State to prosecute Aluko for the alleged perjury. The State averred that Aluko cannot be arrested without a valid bench warrant.
Others include whether the order of the court was necessary for the issuance of the warrant of arrest and that the court has power to grant the order brought before it.
Moving the application, Adaramola said the motion contained nine paragraphs affidavit deposed to by Lere Olayinka, Special Assistant to the Governor on Public Communications and New Media.
Among the exhibits attached to the motion are Aluko’s written statement on oath, which he tendered before the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal in 2014.
The DPP relied on all the paragraphs of the affidavits attached Thereto, urging the court to exercise its discretion in favour of the state because Aluko had on November 12, 2014 given evidence under cross examination that the election which brought Fayose into power was free, fair and credible, devoid of the military harassment.
Adaramola said granting the motion would enhance the integrity of the judiciary.
Chief Magistrate Adesoji Adegboye granted the application and issued a warrant of arrest against Aluko.
He ruled that since the court had the power to grant the order and it will serve the interest of justice, the Commissioner of Police should arrest Aluko to investigate and prosecute him.
The matter was premised upon an application to the State Attorney General by the state PDP Legal Adviser, Sunday Olowolafe, calling for Aluko’s prosecution for alleged perjury.
Olowolafe said: “I hereby apply to your office that Dr Temitope Kolawole Aluko be arrested and sued for perjury in view of the interview recently granted on Channels Television by 8:00pm on Sunday 31 January, 2016.
“The said Dr Temitope Kolawole Aluko now recanted the evidence he gave in the cause of the hearing of the Ekiti State Governorship Election Petition as a star witness even up to the Supreme Court.
“The Certified True Copy of the State on Oath, evidence of Dr Temitope Kolawole Aluko in Court on the 12/11/14 and Nigerian Tribune and The Punch newspapers of Monday 01/02/2016 that reported the interview granted are hereto attached.
“It is to be noted that this if this act (perjury) is not looked into, it will definitely defile the cause of justice and consequently rubbish the judicial proceedings.”
In Olayinka’s affidavit in support of the motion ex-parte, he averred that Aluko, who was a witness before the governorship tribunal, sworn to a Statement on Oath on August 4, 2014 wherein he stated that the Election was not only free and fair, but devoid of violence, thuggery, hooliganism, snatching of ballot boxes and related forms of electoral disorderliness.
Olayinka averred that Aluko adopted his Statement on Oath on November 12, 2014 and further gave evidence under cross examination.
He said all Aluko said on Channels Television on January 31 were contrary to his evidence before the tribunal.