Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Court Dismisses Suit against Tinubu

 Former governor of Lagos State, Senator Ahmed Bola TinubuA Federal High Court in Lagos Tuesday rejected an application filed by one Dr. Adegbola Dominic asking the court to compel the Inspector General of Police (IG) and the Lagos State Commissioner of Police to re-open the case of false statement on oath and false declarations initially lodged by the late human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, against former governor of Lagos State, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu.

The applicant had in a motion ex-parte brought pursuant to Sections 6, 214, 215 of the Constitution as well as Order 34 Rule 3 of Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009 and Section 4 of Police Act sought leave of the court to serve the Motion of Notice and other court processes on the IG through the Lagos annex office.

But Justice Saliu Seidu in his ruling held that the applicant was out of time in filing the application.

The court held that Section 34 Rule 4 of the Federal High Court stipulates that such application must be brought within six months after Tinubu vacated office as governor of the state.

Justice Seidu held that: “The applicant did not do anything since 2007 till now. There is need to comply with stipulated rules of court. This matter is grossly out of time and the prayer sought cannot be granted, it is hereby refused.’’

The applicant had in his motion ex-parte dated December 27, 2012, filed by his lawyer, R. Gilbert, sought an order of mandamus compelling the IG and Commissioner of Police of the state to investigate forthwith  his application and the application filed by the late Fawehinmi over a complaint of crime allegedly committed by Tinubu.

The applicant wanted the court to declare that the police have the statutory powers to investigate crime and bring suspects before a court of competent jurisdiction.

In a 15-paragraph affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by the applicant, he averred that sometimes and prior to the 1999 governorship election of Lagos State conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Tinubu, then a candidate, filed together with INEC Form (F001), an affidavit on oath in respect of lost certificates before the Commissioner for Oaths at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja on December 29, 1998.

The deponent further stated that the affidavit on oath allegedly sworn to by Tinubu was that he attended St. Paul School Aroloya, Lagos Island which, according to investigation, never existed.

The deponent said Tinubu claimed that he attended Government College, Ibadan between 1965 and 1968, which the authorities and old boys association of Government College, Ibadan debunked.

He said the former governor claimed that he attended Richard Dale College, Chicago between 1968 and 1971 which he did not, and that he attended the University of Chicago in the US between 1972-1976 and obtained a B.Sc degree in Economics which claim was allegedly false.

The applicant added that when the late Fawehinmi initiated a suit in court in 1999 for an order of mandamus to compel the police to investigate the criminal allegations, the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court held that Bola Tinubu, then governor of Lagos State by virtue of Section 308 (1) (a) (b) (c) of the 1999 Constitution enjoyed immunity from civil and criminal investigations and proceedings.

The applicant averred that Tinubu had left office as governor since 2007 and no longer enjoys immunity hence the police ought to have commenced investigation on the alleged crime.

He added that he wrote a letter to the Inspector General of Police (1st respondent) on November 1, 2012 asking him to reopen the case but he bluntly refused.

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