November 01, (THEWILL) – The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has told a Federal High Court in Abuja that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has no pending criminal case with the force.
It also said Tinubu had no pending petition and was not a suspect to the Nigeria Police, hence, could not be put on trial.
The explanation was part of the contents of an affidavit filed at the court by Wisdom Madaki, counsel to the Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba.
Madaki filed the affidavit in response to a suit instituted by a civil rights group, seeking an order of mandamus to compel the police to arrest and prosecute Tinubu for perjury and certificate forgery.
The Incorporated Trustees of the Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy had dragged the IGP to court, over the alleged refusal of the police to prosecute the presidential candidate of the APC over allegations bothering on forgery.
Dated and filed on July 4 on behalf of the group in Abuja by Mike Nwankwo, the group in the suit said the legal action against the police was necessitated by the IGP’s refusal to take action on its petitions against Tinubu.
In the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1058/2022, the group asked the court for an order of mandamus compelling the police to comply with Sections 31 and 32 of the Police Act and Section 3 of the Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
The applicant maintained that by Sections 214 and 215 of the 1999 Constitution and Section 4 of the Nigerian Police Act, 2020, the Police have the statutory responsibility to uphold the law.
This, according to the applicant, is about the alleged crime of forgery committed by the APC presidential candidate.
Responding to the suit, the IGP maintained that the police could not prosecute Tinubu without any known offence committed.
He explained that the only two petitions against Tinubu were on allegations that had been adjudicated upon by the Supreme Court in 2002, in a suit filed by the late human rights activist, Gani Fawehinmi.
The affidavit further said that since the apex court resolved the alleged perjury and certificate forgery, there was no need for the police to reopen the matter.
According to the IGP, the police did not need any court order to make arrests and prosecute since it derived its powers from the constitution and statutes.
He prayed the court to dismiss the suit brought against him and the Nigeria Police Force for want of merit and jurisdiction. He also told the court that the plaintiff would not be prejudiced if the suit was dismissed.
However, counsel to the group, Eme Ekpu told Justice Inyang Ekwo that the counter affidavit of the police had just been served on him.
Ekpu prayed the court would give him some time to peruse it and reply formally.
In a brief ruling, Justice Ekwo granted the request and fixed Jan. 19, 2023, for hearing of the suit.