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APC group drags Tinubu to court over alleged questionable academic qualification

Some members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have taken Senator Bola Tinubu, a party chieftain and presidential aspirant, to court over alleged discrepancies in the academic qualifications he submitted to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in support of his qualification for the 2023 presidential election.

In the suit filed on June 2, 2022, the plaintiffs, Umar Iliyasu, Suleiman Baba, and Abubakar Adama, claim that Tinubu’s educational history “is not consistent with the earlier forms C.F. 001” he filled out in preparation for the Governorship election of Lagos State in 1999.

Aside from the academic issue, plaintiffs claim there are discrepancies in Tinubu’s age and indigeneity, and as a result, they want the court to prevent Tinubu from running in the APC’s primary election on June 7, which will determine the party’s presidential candidate in 2023.

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In the case marked FHC/ABJ/CS/774/2022, the APC, Tinubu, and INEC are the first, second, and third defendants, respectively.

The plaintiffs accuse the APC presidential candidate of providing false information in violation of electoral laws and the constitution.

The plaintiffs claimed that “the 2nd defendant presented an incorrect educational history and inconsistent dates of birth in his forms and ought to be disqualified from seeking or contesting for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)” in a 31-paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Miracle Udeaja in support of the suit.

Plaintiffs also claimed that under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), any person seeking an elective position who presents a false document is disqualified from that election and any subsequent elections.

“Whether, after due consideration of Section 131 of the Constitution, Section 84(3) of the Electoral Act 2022, Article 20(111) and (iv) of the APC’s Constitution, and Articles 9, 13, and 17 of the APC’s guidelines for the nomination of candidates for the 2023 general election issued by the APC, the 2nd defendant can participate or contest in the primary election on the platform of the 1st defendant,” is one of the issues to be decided.

Whether the 1st defendant can allow and/or permit the participation of the 2nd defendant in the presidential primary election, given the 2nd defendant’s questionable educational background and date of birth, among other questionable issues.

“Whether the second defendant can run in any primary election with any political party in Nigeria in order to be nominated as a presidential candidate for the 2023 general election, which is scheduled to take place in June 2022.”

Plaintiffs argued that if the court answers affirmatively to the above questions, the following reliefs should be granted: “Given the 2nd defendant’s questionable educational background and date of birth, among other questionable issues, the 1st defendant cannot allow and/or permit the 2nd defendant to participate in the primary election for the office of the president,” the declaration reads.

“A declaration that the second defendant is barred from contesting any primary election with any political party in Nigeria in order to be nominated as a presidential candidate in the 2023 general election, which is scheduled for June 2022.”

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“An order disqualifying the 2nd defendant from running for office on the platform of the 1st defendant in the primary elections scheduled for June 7, 2022, or any other date set by the 1st defendant because he has not met the statutory requirements.”

“An order of perpetual injunction prohibiting the 2nd defendant from participating or presenting himself in any primary election with any political party in Nigeria in order to be nominated as a presidential aspirant for the presidential election in 2023.”

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