Nigeria’s vice president Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said he is waiving his constitutional protection from prosecution, following allegations of corruption levelled against him.
Osinbajo has been accused of mismanaging $250m that was allegedly withdrawn from the country’s tax service to fund the ruling party’s election campaign.
The allegations are being spread by a former deputy spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank.
I will waive my constitutional immunity to enable the most robust adjudication of these claims of libel and malicious falsehood.
In several tweets posted on Wednesday, Osinbajo said he was reacting to the ‘reckless and malicious falsehoods’ that have been circulated on various online platforms.
‘‘I have today instructed the commencement of legal action against two individuals, one Timi Frank and another Katch Ononuju, who have put their names to these odious falsehoods,’‘ Osinbajo tweeted.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service has dismissed allegations that it released funds to finance the election.
‘‘It is not plausible nor does it make any sense that FIRS will commit its resources to a phantom campaign of N90 billion as suggested by Mr. Timi Frank and FIRS does not fund political associations,’‘ the agency’s spokesperson, Wahab Gbadamosi, said on Monday.
While the vice president said he would waive his constitutional right to be protected from lawsuits, Timi has told local media he is ready to face Osinbajo in court.
‘‘I will waive my constitutional immunity to enable the most robust adjudication of these claims of libel and malicious falsehood,’‘ Osinbajo tweeted.
“I am ready to meet with Vice President Osinbajo in court and when we get there, a lot of things will be confirmed,’‘ Timi responded.
Nigerians have taken to social media to share their opinions, ranging from legal interpretations of Osinbajo’s pledge to waive his constitutional protection, to suggestions that the vice-president’s troubles are part of 2023 succession politics.
Pastor Yemi Osinbajo @ProfOsinbajo you are SAN and also Professor (though you favoured Pastor during elections) plus being the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Sowore was granted bail & met his bail conditions & still being kept in custody Where is your outrage? https://t.co/uB4SGu8y1KLoading...
— Aisha Yesufu (@AishaYesufu) September 26, 2019
VP Osinbajo is WRONG on waiving his immunity. Executive Immunity is constitutional & therefore IMPOSSIBLE to waive. So, like the python-danced 5%, he must remain in that toxic office (akin to remaining in toxic Nigeria) and endure his own persecution. #OsinbajoTinubuNtoor.
— aloy ejimakor (@AloyEjimakor) September 26, 2019
“We tender our profound apology to Prof Yemi Osinbajo, VP of the FRN on whom the story touches directly, APC & FIRS for any inconvenience/embarrassment the publication has occasioned them. We hold Prof Osinbajo in highest esteem.”—@vanguardngrnews https://t.co/hp2wufbsvs
— tolu ogunlesi (@toluogunlesi) September 25, 2019
There's been a barrage of libelous claims against VP Osinbajo mostly on WhatsApp & elsewhere on Social Media by mostly faceless people. Assuredly, all such claims are false. Where we're able to identify those peddling such evil lies, there 'll be a legal & proper reckoning. Watch
— Laolu Akande (@akandeoj) September 25, 2019