CSO Gets Court Backing To File Perjury Case Against Tinubu
The legal moves to commence a perjury case against the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, have received the blessings of the Abuja division of the Federal High Court.
Justice Inyang Ekwo has granted the request of a civil society group, the Incorporated Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy, a Civil Society Organization (CSO) for an order of mandamus compelling the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Usman Baba, to initiate a perjury case against the APC presidential flag-bearer.
The request is in line with Sections 31 and 32 of the Police Act and Section 3 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015, prefer charges against the APC flag-bearer, following an allegation that he lied on oath.
In his ruling, Justice Ekwo held that an ex-parte application the group brought before the court on Thursday, was meritorious.
Justice Ekwo has however, ordered service of all the relevant processes in the substantive suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1058/2022, on the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, and the IGP, who were cited as 1st and 2nd Respondents, respectively.
The group, had through its team of lawyers led by Mr. Ugo Nwofor, told the court that the suit was necessitated by the IGP’s refusal to take action on its petition against APC’s presidential candidate over an offence it said was established by report of an investigation that was conducted by the Lagos State House of Assembly in 1999.
The group informed the court that it earlier forwarded a petition to Police authorities, demanding further action on the said investigative report.
It maintained that by virtue of Sections 214 and 215, of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as Section 4 of the Nigerian Police Act, 2020, the Police, have the statutory responsibility to “prevent, detect and investigate criminal allegations whether brought to their notice by individuals, person or persons, corporate bodies, institutions etc”
It submitted that it has the requisite legal competence to invoke the jurisdiction of the court to compel the Respondents to discharge their legal, constitutional and public duties in line with the framework of the law.
Nwofor disclosed that following a letter by late legal luminary, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, in 1999, the Lagos State House of Assembly had set up an Ad-hoc Committee to investigate the alleged act of perjury wherein the Committee had in its report on page 13 stated that, “However, on question of providing false information on oath (sections 191 and 197) we are satisfied that the statement of the governor’s educational qualification which he has admitted were incorrect were not intended…”
According to its petition to the IGP, the Applicant, Tinubu lied on oath in the form CF 001 he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the governorship election in Lagos State in 1999.
It further claimed that Tinubu “forged all the educational certificates he listed in his INEC Form CF 001 which he admitted he did not posses in annexure C”.
“For purpose of clarity, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the said INEC Form deposed on oath that he attended Government College, Ibadan and University of Chicago, USA when in actual fact he did not.
“On the strength of the above, we demand that you initiate the criminal proceedings of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu consequent upon the express findings of the Lagos State House of Assembly as captured above”, it further stated.
Consequently, it is praying the court for, “an order of mandamus, compelling the Respondents to comply with Sections 31 and 32 of the Police Act and Section 3 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015 in respect of alleged crime laid out in complaint of the Applicant encapsulated in the letter of June 16, 2022, received by the Respondents on the same date and titled: Demand for Criminal Prosecution of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu under Sections 191,192 and 463 of the Criminal Code Act, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 Consequent upon the Findings of the Lagos State House of Assembly Ad-hoc Committee, 1999”.