In January 2011, the Goodluck Jonathan administration sued Bola Tinubu for ‘perjury’ committed in the late 1990s.
But Jonathan’s administration scaled it back, per copies of federal records that the Peoples Gazette was able to secure.
According to court documents that The Gazette was able to collect, Jonathan brought the case before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on January 12, 2011, at 1:27 PM.
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In his INEC CF001 governorship form, Tinubu allegedly lied under oath about attending Government College in Ibadan between 1962 and 1965.
The two-count indictment included an accusation that Tinubu made “a false statement on oath to wit: you stated on the said Form CF 001 that you attended Government College, Ibadan between 1962 and 1965 both dates inclusive whereas in truth you did not attend the said school within the stated period and you thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 191 of the Criminal Code Cap 77 laws of the Federation of Nigeria 1990 as retained in section 191 Cap C38 of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.”
Bello Adoke, the former Attorney-General of the Federation, requested the court to dismiss the case on January 25, 2011, less than two weeks later, claiming he was filing the charges in a different court. This claim, however, turned out to be false because no new charges were filed before the administration ended on May 29, 2015, roughly four years later.
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First informed about the lawsuit and its withdrawal in December 2014, Sahara Reporters said that Tinubu may have struck an agreement to support Jonathan’s 2011 campaign in order to avoid going to jail, which could have jeopardised his future political aspirations.
The Gazette has finally acquired the records demonstrating how the Jonathan administration filed and withdrew the complaint.
Adoke informed the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Judge Ibrahim Auta, who retired in 2017, that he was re-filing in another court for the sake of justice.
Adoke originally categorically denied that any charges had been filed when asked by The Gazette why he had let Tinubu to leave, saying: “I can confirm to you very categorically that no such filing ever took place.”
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Adoke claimed that the charges were dropped because he did not sanction their first filing when he was made aware of the specifics of the court records.
“The instructions, if any, did not emanate from me,” he said. “Hence the withdrawal.”
Additionally, he claimed that Jonathan had not given his approval for the lawsuit to be filed and expressed the hope that his reply would resolve the issue.
The former attorney general said, “For the avoidance of doubt, President Jonathan never authorised me to file charges against President Tinubu, and neither did I authorise same.
“I hope this clarifies it all. Thank you.”
Despite having been bitter political rivals all their lives, Tinubu unexpectedly supported Jonathan in the 2011 election against Nuhu Ribadu, the nominee of his own party.
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Neither Tinubu nor Jonathan ever officially disclosed their reasons for supporting Jonathan in that election.
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