Tochi Michael, a 46-year-old businessman has dragged Justice Tanko Muhammad, the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, before a Federal Capital Territory High Court over alleged age falsification.
According to reports, in the originating summons with suit No. FCT/HC/BW/CV/79/2019, filed before the court in April, the petitioner alleged that the CJN deliberately falsified his date of birth.
Michael alleged that the acting CJN falsified his date of birth from December 31, 1950 as contained in all his official records, including that of WAEC, to December 31, 1953 upon his appointment as a judicial officer.
The petitioner in the originating summons is praying the court to determine whether such act by the acting CJN does not constitute a criminal act of perjury, falsification and forgery. Michael in the originating summons also prayed the court to determine whether by falsifying his date of birth upon being appointed to the Nigeria Bench as a judicial officer, he has not breached the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The petitioner also prayed the court to determine whether Justice Mohammad had not breached the Code of Conduct for judicial officers and consequently brought the image of the Nigerian judiciary to disrepute and odium. The petitioner prayed the court for a declaration that the defendant falsified his date of birth and that he had desecrated the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also prayed for an order directing the Inspector-General of Police to prosecute the defendant for the offence of perjury and an any other order which the court may deem fit. At the Tuesday’s proceedings, counsel for the CJN, Mr Sam Ologunorisa (SAN), informed the court that the plaintiff and his counsel were not in the court. Ologunorisa told the court that it seemed the plaintiff and his counsel were “running away” from the suit they filed, stressing that the court should do the needful in the interest of justice.
“We filed a notice of preliminary objection, a counter-affidavit and a written address. We urge the court to deem it fit that the originating summons has been argued. We have to look at Exhibit III of the originating summons. We urge the court to dismiss the suit. The case is meant to scandalise the CJN,” he said.
Justice Danlami Senchi said another opportunity would be given to the petitioner to appear in the court to prove the allegation. He adjourned the case till Friday.