A Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday granted permission to a civil rights organization under the aegis of Incorporated Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy to apply for order of mandamus that will compel the Inspector General of Police to prosecute the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over alleged perjury.
While rendering a decision on an ex-parte motion argued by the group’s attorney, Ugo Nwofor, Justice Inyang Ekwo granted the leave.
The organization filed the ex-parte application in response to the alleged unwillingness of Usman Alkali Baba, the Inspector General of Police, to arrest and prosecute Tinubu for providing false information under oath regarding his educational credentials.
While presenting the application, Nwofor informed Justice Ekwo that the application was based on the Federal High Court’s decision that a lawsuit seeking an order compelling the police chief to fulfill his constitutional obligations must first be approved by the court.
In a succinct decision, Justice Ekwo determined that the ex-parte motion was meritorious and granted it.
The judge set November 1 as the date for the substantive lawsuit hearing.
The Nigerian Police Force and the Inspector General of Police are the first and second respondents, respectively, in the group’s main lawsuit, which was dated and filed on July 4.
The CSO said that the police were sued because he refused to act on a petition it had filed against Tinubu for a crime it claimed the candidate for president had been charged with by the Lagos State House of Assembly in 1999.
The applicant argued that Section 4 of the Nigerian Police Act, 2020 and Sections 214 and 215 of the constitution give the police the legal obligation to “prevent, detect, and investigate criminal allegations whether brought to their notice by individuals, person or persons, corporate bodies, institutions, etc.”
The applicant is therefore asking the court in the case noted FHC/ABJ/CS/1058/2022 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 the 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 unto”
According to the applicant, the respondents are required by Section 31 of the Nigerian Police Act to look into any reported crimes and then submit their findings for legal counsel to the Attorney General of the Federation or of the relevant state.
The applicant continued, “A suspect or defendant alleged or charged with committing an offence established by an Act of the National Assembly or under any other laws shall be arrested, investigated, tried, or dealt with in accordance with the provisions of this Act, except as otherwise provided under this Act.”
The applicant asserted that it has the authority to use the court’s jurisdiction to compel the respondents to carry out their legal, constitutional, and public obligations in accordance with the law.
It expressed regret that its two letters to the respondents, dated June 16 and 27, in which it demanded that Tinubu be prosecuted for alleged perjury, had been ignored up until this point. It added that the respondents “have not notified the applicant of any action taken on the said letter.”
According to the applicant, the Lagos State House of Assembly formed an Ad-hoc Committee in 1999 in response to a letter from the late legal luminary Chief Gani Fawehinmi to look into the alleged act of perjury. On page 13 of the Committee’s report, it was noted that “However, on the 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 incorre
The applicant stated in its plea to the IGP that Tinubu had lied under oath in his form CF 001, which he had given to INEC to help him qualify for the Lagos State governorship election in 1999.
Further allegations made by the petitioner were that Tinubu “forged all the educational certificates he indicated in his INEC Form CF 001, which he admitted he did not possess in annexure C.”
For the sake of clarity, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu falsely claimed to have attended the University of Chicago in the United States and Government College in Ibadan on the aforementioned INEC Form.
“Based on the foregoing, we sincerely request that you immediately begin criminal proceedings against Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu in light of the above-referenced express findings of the Lagos State House of Assembly.”