August 18, 2022

Reporters’ Diary

Factual Reportage

2023: Action Alliance Tells Court To Stop Tinubu Over Alleged Certificate Scam

By Miriam Humbe, Abuja

The Action Alliance (AA) political party is praying the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) not to publish the name of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential candidate for the 2023 general election, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a candidate.

The Action Alliance has also prayed the Court to apply the principle of Estoppel on the first defendant, (INEC) not to accept the name of the third defendant, (Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu) as a candidate for the said election but if accepted, not to list the third defendant as a candidate in the list of candidates or enter the second defendant (APC) in the ballot but the first defendant (INEC).

The Action Alliance conducted its Presidential primary for the 2023 election on June 9, 2022 where the former Chief Security Officer (CSO) to late Head of State, Sani Abacha, Dr. Hamza Al-Mustapha emerged as the party’s flag bearer.

The Action Alliance as Plaintiff/Applicant is suing as first, second and third Defendants, the Independent National Electoral Commission, All Progressives Congress and Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Mary Warribo Esq. Counsel for the Plaintiff (Action Alliance) urged the Court to grant the prayer of the Plaintiff in the Suit NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/954/2022.

The Plaintiff’s Claims:

That the Plaintiff, Action Alliance party in the course of its normal engagements as a political party, found out that the second defendant, (All Progressives Congress) has submitted the name of the third defendant, (Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu) to the first defendant, (Independent National Electoral Commission) as the candidate of the APC for election into the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Plaintiff (Action Alliance) immediately protested against receipt of the name of the of the third defendant, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as Senator Bola Tinubu is a person who is not qualified for election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
That Senator Bola Tinubu is not so qualified by virtue of the following and a combination of them:
(i) In 1999, Senator Bola Tinubu submitted his INEC Form CF 001 and particulars to the INEC in order to be qualified for election into the office of Governor of Lagos State.
(Ii) On December 29, 1999 at Ikeja High Court, Lagos State, Senator Bola Tinubu
swore to an affidavit wherein he deposed that he attended the University of Chicago from 1972-1976 and obtained a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration and qualified as a Certified Public Accountant.
(III) On December 28, 1999 at Ikeja High Court, Lagos State, Bola Tinubu swore to an affidavit attached to INEC Form CF 001 wherein he deposed that he attended:
(a) Government College Ibadan from 1965-1968.
(b) Richard Daley College, Chicago Illinois, USA from 1969-1971.
(c) University of Chicago from 1972-1976.
(d) Chicago State University from 1977-1979.
(iv) Bola Tinubu knew that he did not possess all the educational qualifications he listed in the said INEC Form. The Plaintiff shall rely on copies of the affidavit at the hearing of this Suit and the first and third defendants, (INEC and Senator Bola Tinubu) are Hereby put on notice to produce the original and or Certified True Copies of the said affidavits and or INEC Form CF 001 of the third defendant (Bola Tinubu) submitted to the INEC in 1999.
(v) This matter of false information on the Bola Tinubu’s INEC FORM CF 001 was once reported to the Inspector General of Police and the Lagos State House of Assembly in 1999 and the said House of Assembly constituted an Adhoc Committee on Tuesday, September 21, 1999 to investigate the allegations of Perjury and Forgery against the Executive Governor of Lagos State, the third defendant.
(vi) The said Committee submitted it’s report wherein at page 2 of the said report states this: “The Governor of Lagos State started his evidence by admitting full responsibility for some of the”needles errors” being pointed in recent publications and which formed the basis of the allegations against him”.
(vii) At page 13 of the said report, the said Committee states this:”However, on the question of providing false information on oath (Sections 191 and 192) we are satisfied that the statement of the Governor’s educational qualifications which he has admitted were incorrect”…
(viii) Further at page 14 of the said report, the said Committee states this: “Since the Governor himself accepted responsibilities for the “needless errors” made, and I’m any event he is responsible for documents signed by him…”We shall at the trial rely on the Certified True Copy of the said Adhoc Committee filed in Suit No: FHC/L/CS/1146/1999 on behalf of Senator Bola Tinubu by his Counsel, Afe Babalola SAN. The third has all the pleaded copies as a diligent politician and he is hereby put on notice to produce them on trial.
(ix) The phrase “needless errors” is a direct reference to presentation of a forged certificate to the first defendant, (INEC).
The Action Alliance contends arising from the above that Senator Bola Tinubu is not qualified for election to the office of President and the first defendant, INEC is by that, Estopped from listing Senator Bola Tinubu as a candidate in the said Presidential Election.
The Lagos State House of Assembly duly investigated the allegation of forgery against the third defendant, Senator Bola Tinubu and upon examination of the facts, accepted and determined that the third defendant, Senator Bola Tinubu presented a forged Certificate to the first defendant, INEC. (The said report and all other documents listed above are hereby pleaded and will be relied upon at the trial.)
The first defendant, INEC in the discharge of its duties towards conduct of the 2023 General Election is bound to uphold the national ethics of integrity and upon this pedestal, it shall be unconstitutional to accept the third defendant, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a candidate in the Presidential Election when he (Bola Tinubu) is the subject of a finding by the Lagos State House of Assembly that Bola Tinubu presented a forged Certificate.
The second defendant (APC) is bound by the 1999 Constitution and the Electoral Act, 2022, to uphold the tenets and ethos of integrity in the pursuit of its objectives as a political party and a breach of such tenets and ethos as manifest in the instant case is a breach of the 1999 Constitution and the Constitution of the second defendant (APC).

Particulars:

By Section 224 of the 1999 Constitution, the second defendant (APC) shall conform to the provisions of Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution.
Section 23 of the 1999 Constitution states the national ethics to include integrity while Section 24 directs obedience to the Constitution.
The second defendant, (APC) accordingly is bound to uphold Chapter II of the 1999 Constitution.
The act of presenting a forged certificate is an infraction of the national ethics.
The second defendant, (APC) by electing and presenting the third defendant, Senator Bola Tinubu as a candidate, is in breach of its Constitution.
A political party that breached its Constitution in selecting a candidate for an election cannot claim to have a lawful candidate for the election.
The Plaintiff (Action Alliance) has demanded of the first defendant, (INEC) not to accept the name of the third defendant, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a candidate for the said election but if accepted, not to list the third defendant as a candidate in the list of candidates or enter the second defendant (APC) in the ballot but the first defendant (INEC) refuses.

Plaintiff’s Prayers:

A declaration that the claim of the third defendant, Senator Bola Tinubu that he attended Government College, Ibadan and University of Chicago on his INEC FORM CF 001 in 1999 which he presented to the INEC is false.
A declaration that the false information on the third defendant (Bola Tinubu’s) INEC FORM CF 001 wherein he claims to have been awarded a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics by the University of Chicago is a forged certificate.
A declaration that in view of Section 137(1)(j) of the 1999 Constitution, the third defendant, (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) having in 1999 presented a forged certificate to the first defendant, (INEC) in INEC FORM CF 001 submitted to the first defendant (INEC) as part of the requirements of INEC in order to be listed as a candidate in the 1999 General Elections for the post of the Governor of Lagos State is not qualified to contest for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
A declaration that the submission of the name of the third defendant, (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) to the first defendant, (INEC) by the second defendant (APC) as its candidate in the Presidential Election to be conducted by INEC is null and void and of no effects as the defendant, (Bola Tinubu) is not qualified for election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in view of Section 137(1)(j) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) having in 1999 presented a forged certificate to the INEC on the INEC FORM CF 001.
A declaration that by virtue of Sections 224, 23 and 24 of the 1999 Constitution of the second defendant,(APC), the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is to be occupied by a man of integrity and impeccable character.
An Order of perpetual injunction restraining the first defendant INEC from publishing the name of the third defendant, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu as a candidate in the 2023 Presidential Election.
An Order of perpetual injunction restraining INEC from listing APC as a political party in the ballot for the conduct of the 2023 Presidential Election to be conducted by INEC.

Documents sighted as attached were Certified True Copies of Affidavit in respect of lost Certificate, INEC FORM CF 001 signed on October 12, 1999 belonging to Senator Tinubu.

Also sighted was a Certified True Copy of the 14-page report of the Adhoc Committee set up by the Lagos State House of Assembly to investigate the allegations of forgery and perjury levelled against the (then) Executive Governor of Lagos State, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The matter has been adjourned to the July 25, 2022.