Adesoji Adegboye, a chief magistrate in Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti state, has ordered the state commissioner of police to arrest Temitope Aluko, former secretary of the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over alleged perjury.
Aluko, who earlier testified before the election tribunal that the June 21, 2014 governorship election in Ekiti was free and fair, told journalists on Sunday that the PDP rigged the election.
He said former President Goodluck Joanthan released $37 million to Ayo Fayose, governor of the state, and summoned top security chiefs to Aso Rock to strategise on how to deliver the state for the former ruling party.
On Wednesday, the chief magistrate gave an order for his arrest after considering a motion ex parte number MAD/10cm/2016, filed by the Ekiti state government against Aluko and the state commissioner of police, pursuant to Section 117 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C16, law of Ekiti State 2012, Section 79 of the Ekiti State Administration of Criminal Justice Law 2014 and Section 23 (D) of the Magistrates’ Courts Law 2014.
In the motion, which was filed and moved by Gbemiga Adaramola, the state director of public prosecution, an order of the court was sought to issue warrant of arrest against Aluko, to be executed by the state commissioner of police for the purpose of committing Aluko for trial for the offence of perjury. Adegboye said the order was granted as a means for the first defendant (Aluko) to attend the court for defence.
The matter was premised upon an application to the state attorney-general by a lawyer, Sunday Olowolafe, calling for the prosecution of Aluko for alleged perjury.
“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 lawyer was quoted as saying.
“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.”
The affidavit filed in support of the motion ex parte by Lere Olayinka, special assistant to the state governor on public communications and new media, said Aluko, who was a witness before the governorship election petition tribunal, swore 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 further averred that Aluko tendered and adopted his statement on oath on November 12, 2014, and further gave evidence under cross examination. He stated that all what Aluko said on Channels Television on Sunday, January 31, 2016 were contrary to and opposite in direction to his evidence before the tribunal.
Issuing the warrant of arrest against the chief magistrate said that since the court had the power to grant the order and it would serve the interest of justice, the state commissioner of police should arrest Aluko for the purpose of investigating and prosecuting him.