A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Jabi area of Abuja, on Friday dismissed a suit, seeking the prosecution of the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Mohammad, over allegations of forgery and perjury.
The plaintiff, Tochi Michael, had alleged that Justice Muhammad deliberately falsified his date of birth from Dec. 31, 1950 as contained in all his official records, including that of WAEC to Dec. 31, 1953 upon his appointment as a judicial officer.
But in a judgment on the suit Friday, trial judge, Justice Danlami Senchi, however dismissed the suit on the grounds that the plaintiff lacked “Locus Standi”, (not qualified in law to institute the suit).
According to the Judge, the plaintiff ought to have brought the suit before the court by way of writ of summons and not originating summon.
In addition, Justice Senchi, held that there was no evidence before the court to prove the plaintiff’s case that the Acting CJN, reduced his age from Dec. 31, 1950 to Dec. 31, 1953 as claimed by him.
Justice Senchi also held that the claimant did not specify in the originating summons the special interest he has in the suit, adding that the claimant has no ‘locus standi’ to institute such action.
“There is nowhere in the document before the court where the claimant have been injured by the defendant, the claimant also did not disclosed further much information about himself.
“Where a suit did not commence with due process of the law, it was quite clear that this suit commenced by way of originating summon instead of writ; the claimant has failed to show to the court necessary document to show that the defendant falsified his age.
“I hereby declared that the date of birth of the defendant is Dec. 31, 1953 and not Dec. 31, 1950; this suit is hereby dismissed in entirety,” Senchi held.
According to the Judge, the attitude of the claimant counsel, Melkizadeck Zaro is nothing but to scandalized, malign and destroy the person of the CJN and the entire judiciary.
The Judge also ordered that the registrar of the Supreme Court should commence a disciplinary action against the claimant’s! ? counsel for supplying false information to breach the law.
Justice Senchi also awarded a N10m fine against the claimant to serve as a deterrent to others who are bent in carrying false information and must be paid within three weeks from the day of the judgment.
Tochi Michael in his originating summon with suit No. FCT/HC/BW/CV/79/2019, alleged that the CJN deliberately falsified his date of birth. Michael alleged that the CJN falsified his date of birth from Dec. 31, 1950 as contained in all his official records including that of WAEC to Dec. 31, 1953 upon his appointment as a judicial officer.
The petitioner in the originating summon is praying the court to determine whether such act of the CJN does not constitute a criminal act of perjury, falsification and forgery.
Michael in the originating summon also prayed the court to determine whether by falsifying his date of birth from Dec. 31, 1950 to Dec. 31, 1953 upon being appointed to Nigeria Bench as a judicial officer he has not breach the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The petitioner is also praying the court to determine whether Justice Mohammed has not breached the Code of Conduct for judicial officers and consequently brought the image of Nigeria Judiciary to a state of disrepute and odium.
The petitioner in his reliefs is praying the court for a declaration that the defendant falsified his date of birth and that the defendant has desecrated the breach of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He is also praying for an order directing the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to prosecute the defendant for the offence of perjury and an order which the court may deem it fit. But the CJN counsel, Mr Sam Ologunorisa, SAN, had informed the court that the plaintiff and his counsel information against the CJN was not true and urged the court to dismiss the suit.