What should be a moment of celebration in Nigeria’s democratic history is set to be overshadowed by a flurry of suits as a civil society organization, under the aegis of the Incorporated Trustees of Advocacy for Societal Rights Advancement and Development Initiative, ASRADI, has also asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to stop the swearing-in of the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on May 29.
The group, in a motion ex-parte it filed on Tuesday alongside the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/669/2023, alleged that the President-elect lied on oath about his possession of a Guinean Passport.
This comes few days after a group of Abuja residents asked an Abuja High Court to stop the installation of Tinubu as president, because, according to him, he failed to get 25% of the votes cast in the FCT as required by the Constitution.
In the latest case, ASRADI also filed an affidavit of urgency, asking for prompt intervention of the court in view of the planned swearing-in ceremony.
The plaintiff further sought the permission of the court to apply for an order of mandamus to compel the Inspector General of Police, IGP, to investigate and recommend Tinubu for prosecution if found guilty of perjury regarding his Guinean citizenship.
ASRADI told the court that the President-elect lied on oath when he refused to give information about his Guinean citizenship in the Form EC9 he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in aide of his qualification to contest the presidential election that was held on February 25.
“The non-disclosure by Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the INEC Form EC9 of the dual citizenship of his voluntary acquisition of the citizenship of Guinea amounts to Perjury, ” it averred in an affidavit that was attached in support of the suit.
The group said it “only became aware of the perjury committed by Bola Ahmed Tinubu on April 16, 2023”, from an online publication, adding that police failed to act on its request for the matter to be investigated, hence its decision to seek the intervention of the court.
Among proof of evidence, the plaintiff attached to the suit included its letter to the IGP, dated May 8 and signed by its Executive Director, Mr Adeolu Oyinlola.
Consequently, ASRADI, through its lawyer, Mr Chukwunweike Okafor, is among other things, praying the court for; “A declaration that by virtue of the provisions of Section 215(1)(a) and 2 of the Constitution and Sections 31 and 32 of the Nigeria Police Act, 2020, the respondent is under both constitutional and statutory obligation to investigate Tinubu for the offence of perjury contained in the INEC Form EC9 sworn to by him on June 14, 2022, regarding his Guinean citizenship”.
As well as, “An order of mandamus compelling the respondent to investigate the fillings made by Bola Ahmed Tinubu in respect of his Guinean citizenship contained in INEC Form EC9 sworn to by him on June 14, 2022, and where he is found culpable of the offence of perjury, refer him to the Attorney General of the Federation for prosecution”.
It further sought an order to “compel the respondent to investigate and prosecute Bola Ahmed Tinubu for the offence of perjury before May 29, 2023 which is the date of the swearing -in of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”
In the affidavit of urgency that was deposed by Oyinlola, the plaintiff said its ex-parte motion “should be heard and determined before the swearing -in of Bola Ahmed Tinubu as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on May 29, 2023”.