A NIGERIA FEDERAL HIGH COURT, sitting in the capital, Abuja, presided by Justice Inyang Ekwo, Thursday, granted an order of mandamus, sought by a civil society organization, Incorporated Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy, to compel the Inspector-General of Police, IGP, to prosecute Bola Tinubu for alleged perjury.
Tinubu may be bracing up for litigation fire, on the complicity surrounding his educational qualifications, that have been contentious and dogged him for several years. Emerging as the flagbearer of the ruling All Progressive Party, APC, for the 2023 election, issues of his educational qualifications are resurfacing. Once, again, trailing him.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, granted the order from an exparte application argued by Ugo Nwofor, lawyer to the civil society group. The group petitioned the Inspector General of Police, requesting that Tinubu be investigated and prosecuted for alleged perjury. The IGP seemed to have turned his back on the petition, after two separate petition letters dated June 16 and 27, 2022, sent and acknowledge by his office.
The suit was filed July 4, 2022 and marked as FHC/ABJ/CS/1058/2022. The Nigeria Police Force and the Inspector-General of Police are the first and second respondents. The civil society group said legal action became necessary, when the IGP refused to take necessary action on the petitions against Tinubu; who while in office, was indicted by Lagos State House of Assembly in 1999.
IN THE PETITION to the IGP, the group claimed that Tinubu “lied on oath” in Form CF001, he submitted to INEC, in support of his qualifications for Lagos State governorship election in 1999. The group further claimed that Tinubu forged the educational certificates he listed in his INEC Form CF001, which he “admitted he did not possess in annexure C”.
And added that: “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 respectfully 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”.
Citing constitutional provisions, the ground said, Sections 214 and 215 of the constitution, and Section 4 of the Nigerian Police Act, 2020; the police have the statutory responsibility to prevent, detect and investigate criminal allegations whether brought to the notice of the police by “individuals, person or persons, corporate bodies, institutions etc”.
And sought an order of mandamus, to compel the police 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 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”.
By Section 31 of the Nigerian Police Act, the group stated, the police are “duty bound to investigate alleged crime” brought to their attention, and report the findings to the Attorney General of the Federation or that of a state for legal advice.
And by Section 32(1) of the Police Act, the group further stated: “A suspect or defendant alleged or charged with committing offence established by an Act of the National Assembly or under any other laws shall be arrested, investigated and tried or dealt with according to the provisions of this Act, except otherwise provided under this Act”.