Hearing Date Set for Tinubu’s Minister Accused Certificate Forgery

Hearing Date Set for Tinubu’s Minister Accused Certificate Forgery

The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed December 11, 2023, for the hearing of a certificate forgery case involving one of President Tinubu’s ministers, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

The suit seeks the disqualification of Tunji-Ojo as interior minister on allegation of forgery of his National Youth Service Corps certificate.

Justice Emeka Nwite granted the leave to hear the case in a suit filed by an applicant, Oladotun Hassan.

The suit is marked FHC/ABJ/C5/1155/2023 and has Mr Hassan as the applicant, the minister as the first respondent, President Tinubu as the second respondent and four others.

The third to sixth respondents are the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice; the senate president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; the Senate, federal republic of Nigeria and the NYSC, respectively. Recall that Mr Tunji-Ojo was embroiled in a scandal over his NYSC certificate, which he submitted for screening to the Senate

Excerpts from the court documents reads:

“1. That an order of this honourable court is hereby made granting leave to the applicant to apply for judicial review in the terms and on the grounds set out in the statement filed herein.

“2. That an order of this honourable court is hereby made granting leave to the applicant to apply for an order of prohibition against the respondents from further giving effect, recognition and validity whatsoever to the nomination/ appointment, confirmation and swearing- in of the 1st respondent as a minister, Federal Republic of Nigeria having not fulfilled the requirements and the conditions precedent under the low to his nomination/appointment and confirmation

“3. That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing the 4th and 5th respondents to bring its findings/review/ proceedings dated 7th day of August 2023 for quash wherein the 1st respondent was screened and confirmed as a minister, Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“4. That the honourable court hereby declared that the 1st Respondent fails to fulfil the conditions precedent under the NYSC Act, Cap N84, LFN 2004 for the issuance certificate of discharged/exemption.”

“5. That the honourable court hereby declared that the purported discharged certificate No: A004523631 issued by the 6th respondent to the 1st respondent on the 28th February, 2023 is null and void having been issued contrary to the NYSC Act Cap N84, LFN 2004.

“6. That the honourable court hereby declared that the NYSC discharge certificate no: A004523631 purported to be issued by the 6th respondent and presented by the 1st Respondent to the 4th and 5th respondents in satisfaction for confirmation as Minister Federal Republic of Nigeria is illegal, null and void having not being issued in accordance with the NYSC Act Cap N84, LFN 2004.

“7. That the honourable court hereby declared that the purported screening and confirmation of the 1st respondent by the 4th and 5th respondents as a minister Federal Republic of Nigeria is unlawful having contradicts S.66 (i) and S.147(5) of the 1999 Constitution, Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.

“8. That the honourable court hereby declared that the appointment and the purported inauguration or swearing-in into office of the 1st respondent as minister Federal Republic of Nigeria by the 2nd respondent is unlawful being contrary to S.66 (i) and S.147 (5) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“9. That an order of this honourable court is hereby made voiding the discharged certificate No: A0045223631 purportedly issued by the 6th respondent to the 1st respondent being in contravention of the NYSC Act cap N84, LFN 2004.

“10. That an order of this honourable court is hereby made voiding the screening and confirmation of the 1st respondent as a minister Federal Republic of Nigeria by the 4th and 5th respondents.”

“11. That an order of this honourable court is hereby made setting aside the purported/ proposed swearing-in of the 1st respondent as Minister Federal Republic of Nigeria by the 2nd respondent.

“12. That an Order of injunction is hereby made restraining the Respondents, their privies or any order persons or bodies receiving order from them from recognizing or giving effect to the appointment and confirmation of the 1st Respondent as Minister Federal Republic of Nigeria pending the determination of the substantive matter.

“13. That this case is adjourned to the 11th day of December, 2023 for hearing. Issued at Abuja under the seal of the court and the hand of the presiding judge, this day of November, 2023.”

Recall that during Tunji-Ojo’s Senate screening as minister, Senator Sadiq Umar of Kwara North Senatorial District pointed out various irregularities in his NYSC certificate.

Mr Umar asked to know why he enrolled in the NYSC system at 37 and why the discharge certificate he presented had a strange date.

However, the former member of the Ondo State House of Representatives for Akoko North East/Akoko North-West Federal Constituency dismissed the lawmaker’s concerns, explaining that eligible individuals for NYSC could participate at any time after graduation as long as they graduated before age 30.

Reacting to this, the NYSC stated that it remobilised Tunji-Ojo 12 years after he left the service.

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