The Inspector-General of Police has been sued by a civil rights organization, Incorporated Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy, for reportedly refusing to bring charges against Bola Tinubu, the APC’s presidential candidate, on claims that verge on perjury.
The Nigerian Police Force and the IGP are named as the first and second respondents in the lawsuit, which was dated and filed on July 4 in Abuja on behalf of the organization.
The CSO said that the IGP’s purported unwillingness to act on its petition against Tinubu regarding an offense it claimed the presidential candidate was indicted by the Lagos State House of Assembly in 1999 justified the legal action against the police.
The applicant maintained that by 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 their notice by individuals, person or persons, corporate bodies, institutions, etc”.
Consequently, the applicant in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1058/2022, is asking 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.
The complaint was 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.”
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 organisation added that by Section 32(1) of the Police Act, “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.”
Okonkwo 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.
The plaintiff complained that the respondents ignored its two letters, dated June 16 and 27, in which it urged that Tinubu be prosecuted for suspected perjury. The plaintiff added that the respondents “had not advised the applicant of any action taken on the said letter.”
The applicant claims that after receiving a letter from the late legal luminary Chief Gani Fawehinmi in 1999, the Lagos State House of Assembly established an Ad-hoc Committee to look into the alleged act of perjury, and the Committee said on page 13 of its report 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…”
The applicant stated in its appeal to the IG 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.
The applicant 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 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”.
The hearing date for the new lawsuit has not yet been set.