By Eric Elezuo
The Chairman of Heyden Petroleum and governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ogun State, Mr Dapo Abiodun, is not having the best of times as opponents are bent on snatching his governorship ticket from him. Mr. Abiodun’s latest nightmare stems from his inability to declare his tertiary education qualification in Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)’s affidavit form CF001 to support personal particulars, according to authoritative source which furnished The Boss with verifiable details.
The Source hinted that the matter has been charged to court by one Abdurrafiu Adesina Baruwa, the claimant, against the All Progressives Congress (APC). Also joining in the suit are the APC candidate, Mr. Dapo Abiodun and INEC.
The claimant, among other issues, is asking the court to explain the yardstick behind submitting different affidavits for two elections at separate intervals, accusing the candidate of deliberately omitting his tertiary education at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife and Kannesaw State University, alleging that the candidate missed or refuse to participate in the compulsory one year youth service.
In the originating summons filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, Mr Baruwa presented series of questions for determination, among which are:
⦁ Whether having regard to the unambiguous provisions of Section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended), a Candidate sponsored by a political party is not under an obligation to make full disclosure of ALL his educational qualifications as demanded by INEC in the prescribed FORM CF 001?
⦁ Whether the willful concealment and/or refusal by a Candidate sponsored by a political party for an election to disclose ALL his educational qualifications as demanded by INEC in FORM CF 001 does not amount to false information?
⦁ Whether by the mandatory provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended) and National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap. N84, Laws of the Federation, 2004, a candidate for an elective office, who had obtained a University Degree or its equivalent at age 30 and below can willfully conceal in his FORM CF 001 his University qualifications for the purpose of evading the consequences of the Acts?
⦁ Whether a political party such as the 1st Defendant in this case is at liberty to apply double standards in clearing and/ or disqualifying persons aspiring for elective offices?
⦁ Whether a Candidate, who had earlier stated on oath his University qualification, can subsequently be permitted in law to willfully conceal his University qualification for the sole purpose of evading the consequences of such University qualification?
⦁ Whether on a proper construction of the Forms CF 001 filled and submitted by the 2nd Defendant to the 3rd Defendant for the 2015 Senatorial Election and 2019 Governorship election, both certified and obtained by the Plaintiff on Tuesday, 11th of December, 2018, the 2nd Defendant has not breached the clear provisions of Section 31 of the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) and thereby entitled to an order of disqualification having regard to the representation he made in these Forms CF 001, which are domiciled and published in the 3rd Respondent’s headquarters at Plot 436, Zambezi Crescent, Maitama District, Abuja?
Documents available to The Boss proves that Mr. Abiodun declared that he attended tertiary institutions while filling INEC’s Form CF001 in 2015 but couspicously left them out in 2018 while attending to the same form, claiming that O’level school certificate is his highest educational qualification.
The claimant is making his claims based on Section 2 of the NYSC Act, which makes it mandatory for every University graduate to serve for a period of one year or obtain an exemption certificate.
It noted that a combined reading of Sections 12 & 13 of the NYSC Act shows unequivocally the dire consequences of refusal to participate in the NYSC Scheme, and urged the court to “answer this question in the affirmative and hold that by the mandatory provisions of the Electoral Act, 2010(as amended) and National Youth Service Corps Act, Cap. N84, Laws of the Federation, 2004, a candidate for an elective office, who had obtained a University Degree or its equivalent at age 30 and below can willfully conceal and/or refuse to disclose in his FORM CF 001 his University qualification for the purpose of evading the consequences of the Acts.”
Mr. Abiodun was elected in a parallel election during the APC primaries in October, supposedly defeating the anointed candidate of Governor Ibikunle Amosun, Mr. Adekunle Akinlade. This move has created sour taste in the mouth of the gladiators in the party. Mr. Akinlade has since decamped to the Allied People’s Movement (APM) with the support of the governor who has vowed to withdraw his support for the APC while retaining the party’s senatorial ticket.
To further compound Abiodun’s crisis, the Inter Party Advisory Council, IPAC, in Ogun State has declared that he is not fit to govern the state, and issued him an ultimatum that expired yesterday to address the issue.
In a statement in Abeokuta on Tuesday, the IPAC Chairman in the state, Mr. Abayomi Arabambi, said “It may interest you to know that in 2015 elections, Mr. Abiodun contested the Senate on the platform of the APC and gave some facts, claiming to have graduated from the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University in 1986 and also Kennesaw State university Atlanta Georgia, USA,1998 as his educational qualifications. Surprisingly those facts are quite different from what he now stated in his governorship form submitted to INEC for 2019 general poll where he claimed he is a holder of West Africa School Certificate in his form CF001.”
The APC, it will be recalled, disqualified the Minister of Communication, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, over the same inability to participate in the youth service scheme.
See complete documents: