A Federal High Court in Abuja has permitted a civil group, to apply for an order compelling the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu, over alleged perjury.
Delivering a ruling in an ex-parte application, Justice Inyang Ekwo granted the leave argued by the group, Incorporated Trustees of Center for Reform and Public Advocacy (CRPA), through its lawyer, Mr Ugo Nwofor.
The ex-parte application was filed by the group following the alleged refusal of the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, to arrest and prosecute the former Lagos State governor for supplying false information on oath in respect of his educational qualifications.
While moving the application, the applicant informed the Court that it is predicated on the rule of the Federal High Court to first obtain permission from the Court before proceeding with a suit seeking an order to compel the Police Chief to carry out his Constitutional duties.
The Judge held that the ex-party application was meritorious and subsequently granted it.
Justice Ekwo subsequently fixed November 1 for a hearing of the substantive suit.
In the main suit, the NGO said that the legal action against the police was necessitated by the IGP’s refusal to take action on its petition against Tinubu over an offence it claimed the APC presidential candidate was indicted of by the Lagos State House of Assembly in 1999.
The applicant claimed that by Section 31 of the Nigerian Police Act, the Police Force is duty bound to investigate alleged crimes brought to them and report their findings to the Attorney-General of the Federation or of a state, as the case may be, for legal advice.
The applicant 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”.
According to the applicant, it has the 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 law.
It lamented that its two letters dated June 16 and 27 to the respondents wherein it demanded the prosecution of Tinubu over alleged perjury have until now been ignored, adding that respondents also “have not notified the applicant of any action taken on the said letter”.
The applicant in its petition to the IGP claimed that Tinubu lied under oath in his form CF 001 he submitted to INEC in aid of his qualification for the governorship election in Lagos State in 1999.
The NGO further claimed that Tinubu forged all the educational certificates he listed in his INEC Form CF 001 which he admitted he did not possess in annexure C”.