Court dismisses suit seeking Tinubu’s disqualification over same faith ticket
• Authorises group to press perjury charge against him
Justice Ahmed Ramat Mohammed of the Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, dismissed a suit seeking disqualification of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, for nominating a fellow Muslim, Kashim Shettima, as running mate for the general elections holding from next month.
The case, instituted by an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Osigwe Ahmed Momoh, was struck out for lack of locus standi.
The judge held that the lawyer, having not being an APC member and participated in the process that produced Tinubu and his running mate, cannot query the nominations.
The attorney had, in the suit, prayed the court for an order nullifying Tinubu’s candidature and preventing him from participating in the February 25 election on the ground that the same faith ticket offends the spirit and letters of Sections 14, 15 and 224 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Specifically, the notary, who claimed to be an apostle of rule of law and social justice, argued that the Muslim-Muslim candidacy runs foul of national cohesion, integration and unity.
He, therefore, asked the court for an order of perpetual injunction to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) from publishing the name of APC and its presidential candidate for purposes of the 2023 polls.
In his judgment, Justice Mohammed disagreed with the plaintiff on legal right to institute the case and, subsequently, dismissed it.
The presiding judge, while upholding the preliminary objection of APC and Tinubu, however, did not award any cost against the applicant.
MEANWHILE, the Incorporated Trustees of Advocacy for Social Right Advancement and Development Initiative (ASRADI) has got nod of the court to press perjury charge against Tinubu on his education credentials.
The group alleged that the APC standard-bearer had claimed to have attended St. Paul Aroloya Primary School, Lagos, reportedly found to be non-existent, hence he (Tinubu) should be tried for lying under oath.
The civil society organisation (CSO) also secured an order to bring an application, seeking to compel the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to investigate the accused over the allegation.
Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon made the order, while ruling in the ex parte application brought by the group against the police chief.
ASRADI had, in the motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2197/2022, sought for leave of court to bring an application for an order of judicial review, compelling the IGP to investigate Tinubu in respect of his educational qualifications submitted to INEC in 1999.
In the motion filed on November 25, 2022, the group stated that the legal action was necessitated by failure of the IGP to probe allegations of perjury brought against the APC presidential candidate.
According to the applicant, up till the time of coming to court, the respondent has “willfully refused to investigate and / or prosecute Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the offence of perjury where he is found culpable.”
The plaintiff, in its letter dated November 1, 2022 and signed by the Executive Director, Adeolu Oyinlola, had asked the IGP to “cause an investigation into this allegation of ours within two weeks of receipt of this correspondence, and initiate prosecution if it is established that he swore to an affidavit – knowing full well that what he stated therein was and is false.”
The applicant, in the memo titled: ‘Investigation of Bola Ahmed Tinubu for Lying on (under) Oath’, told the court that its findings revealed that the APC presidential candidate “lied on (under) oath in every material particular. As a matter of fact, St. Paul Aroloya (Lagos) has never existed.”
After entertaining arguments from the parties, the judge adjourned to February 16 for further proceedings.