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ELECTION BUREAUCRACIES AND THE FUTURE OF DEMOCRACY
Tinubu’s St Paul Aroloya Pry School Never Existed, Group Tells Court
*Gets nod to commence process compelling police to investigate, prosecute APC’s presidential candidate
Alex Enumah in Abuja
A civil society group, the Incorporated Trustees of Advocacy for Social Right Advancement and Development Initiative (ASRADI), has told a Federal High Court in Abuja, that the St. Paul Aroloya Primary School, Lagos, the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, claimed to have attended was never in existence, hence he (Tinubu) should be tried for perjury.
Meanwhile, the group has secured an order from the court to bring an application seeking to compel the Inspector General (IG) of Police to investigate Tinubu over allegations bordering on perjury.
Justice Mobolaji Olajuwon of a Federal High Court, Abuja, made the order while ruling in the exparte application brought by the group against the IG.
ASRADI had, in an exparte motion marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/2197/2022, sought for leave of the court to bring an application for an order of judicial review, compelling the IG to investigate Tinubu in respect of his educational qualification claims submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in 1999.
In the motion dated and filed November 25, 2022, the group stated that the legal action was necessitated by the failure of the IG to investigate 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 applicant, in its letter dated November 1, 2022 and signed by the ASRADI’s Executive Director, Mr. Adeolu Oyinlola, had asked the IG to “cause an investigation into this allegation of ours within two weeks of the 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 letter titled: ‘Investigation of Bola Ahmed Tinubu for Lying on Oath’ told the court that its findings revealed that the APC presidential candidate “lied on oath in every material particular. As a matter of fact, St. Paul Aroloya (Lagos) has never existed”.
According to the group, documents obtained from INEC regarding Tinibu’s form CF 001 submitted in aid of his qualification to contest the position of governor, Lagos State in 1999 listed St. Paul Aroloya (Lagos), Children Home School, Ibadan and University of Chicago as institutions Tinubu attended.
The applicant however argued that the non-disclosure by Tinubu in the INEC Form CF 001 of the qualification he got in respect of the primary school he attended after stating he attended St. Paul Aroloya, Children Home School Ibadan, 1958 – 1964 is a gap that needs to be investigated by the police because the said school never existed at the time he claimed he attended same or at any time for that matter.
While stating that the respondent is under constitutional and statutory obligation/duty to investigate Tinubu for the alleged offence of perjury, the applicant submitted that it will be in the interest of justice to compel the police to investigate the presidential candidate for the alleged crime.
According to the group, due to the actions/inactions of the police over the matter, Tinubu “is walking free without answering to his past deeds and is contesting for the presidency of Nigeria with dubious educational qualification claims”, adding that the police had no justification for refusing to investigate Tinubu for the alleged crime.
Amongst the reliefs sought from the court is a declaration that by virtue of Section 215(1) (a) and 2 of the Constitution and Sections 7(1), 31 and 32 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, the IG is under both constitutional and statutory obligation to investigate Tinubu for the offence of perjury contained in the INEC Form CF 001, sworn to by him on December 20, 1999, regarding his educational qualification.
The applicant subsequently prayed for an Order of Mandamus compelling the respondent to investigate the filings made by Tinubu and where he is found culpable to be referred to the Attorney General of the Federation for prosecution.
In his ruling on the exparte motion on January 12, 2023, Justice Olajuwon held that after reading the supporting affidavit deposed by Adeolu Oyinlola and hearing the applicant’s lawyer, Chukwunweike Okafor, “An order is hereby made granting leave of the applicant to apply for judicial review by way of mandamus compelling the respondent in this case, the Inspector General of Police, to investigate the filings made by Tinubu in respect of his educational qualification contained in the INEC Form CF 001 sworn to by him on December 20, 1999.
“That the matter is adjourned to February 16, for further proceedings.”