The ruling All Progressives Congress’ screening committee headed by John Odigie Oyegun has received a petition to disqualify Bola Tinubu over allegations of drug dealing and certificate forgery.
An APC member Sagir Mai Iyali had in his petition to the panel alleged that how Mr Tinubu failed to indicate in his nomination filings that he had a case in the United States in the early 1990s, during which prosecutors extracted over $400,000 in forfeitures from the former Lagos governor.
Mr Tinubu was also once accused of filing false claims to the electoral office INEC when he ran for governor in 1999. Late rights lawyer Gani Fawehinmi made the allegations at the time, saying Mr Tinubu falsely claimed to have attended Chicago State University.
The Supreme Court did not find Mr Tinubu ineligible to stand for office over the matter following a lengthy trial in the 2000s.
Mr Tinubu was also not convicted in the U.S., but his critics said the forfeitures were enough grounds to assume his guilt. He strongly denies all the allegations.
Mr Mai Iyali’s letter, which was first reported by Sahara Reporters, was received at the ruling party’s headquarters in Abuja as screening came underway on Monday morning. The panel is led by Mr Oyegun, who has been nursing a political rivalry against Mr Tinubu.
In his argument, Mr Mai Iyali said: “We understand that Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has since procured his Expression of Interest and Nomination forms and has submitted same to the party has certain issues that clearly amount to a similar disqualification scenario.
“From the information contained in prior submission to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), particularly in 1999, Mr Tinubu Presented a false claim, on oath, of his attendance at University of Chicago from 1972-1976.
“It is clear now that these claims are false. Not only was this filed in the INEC form with a declaration on oath on December 20th, 1999, but it was also contained in an affidavit of loss sworn to before the High Court of Lagos, Ikeja Registry, December 29th 1998.
“The latter claim that seeks to transpose history is untenable. Mr Tinubu has to show proof he attended University of Chicago or he must stand disqualified as the opposition is in possession of these same documents.
“Over the years, the identity of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been shrouded in secrecy. In fact, no one can claim to know the identity of the man.
“Similarly, the age of Tinubu is not known to anyone. Though, it’s not contention that he is above the statutory age of 35-years, it’s equally important that his exact age is known.”
The national convention and presidential primaries of the APC have been scheduled for June 6. Mr Tinubu is currently undergoing screening before the presidential nomination panel at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja.
A spokesman for Mr Tinubu did not immediately return a request seeking comments about the petition on Monday evening.