Oby Ezekwesili, a former minister of education, has asked Usman Alkali Baba, the acting Inspector-General of Police, to prosecute Japheth Omojuwa, a prominent blogger and social media influencer, for alleged forgery and fraudulent use of identity.
Ezekwesili made the request in a petition dated 14 April, signed by her lawyer, Marshal Abubakar of Falana and Falana chambers, and addressed to the IGP.
The petition comes after Ezekwesili threatened to institute legal action against Omojuwa following the emergence of a report by Buzzfeed, an American online news medium, which said she was listed as a director in Alpha Reach, a public relations company owned by Omojuwa, which is currently embroiled in a Twitter PR scandal for the release of an alleged fraudster, Alex Saab, a Colombian.
According to the American publication, two employees of Alpha Reach allegedly enlisted several Nigerian Twitter influencers to run a campaign on the platform for the release of Saab, who has been declared wanted in the United States and is facing extradition charges in Cape Verde.
According to Ezekwesili in her petition, she did not grant her consent at any time to Omojuwa to be listed as a director of the company, contrary to the details of the documents, which surfaced on social media, linking her to Alpha Reach.
The former minister subsequently attached as evidence, communications between herself and Omojuwa, wherein the blogger allegedly stated that he never listed her as a director in the company after she contacted him to clear the air on the matter.
The petition read: “It is our brief that our client promptly contacted Japheth Omojuwa to confirm whether he forged her signature and other incorporation documents and processes but he informed her that the Alpha Reach Company Limited is his company and that she is not involved in it at all.
“Please find attached the referenced communication between our client and Mr. Japheth Omojuwa.”
The former World Bank executive also stated that she requested the incorporation documents from Omojuwa, who promised to make them available to her within the week but he never did.
“Japheth Omojuwa never sought for her consent and /or participation in incorporating any company whatsoever and for any purpose whatsoever. The said Japheth Omojuwa neither sought for nor obtained requisite incorporation documents and information the CAC would require in processing the registration i.e the particulars of directors, share numbers, signature of directors, means of identification of directors and address etc.
“Our client reiterates for emphasis that she never filled or signed the statutory consent of first directors of Alpha Reach Company Limited in 2012 and or at anytime whatsoever,” the petition read.
Ezekwesili stated that no notice of meetings, annual returns, accounts or board resolutions were issued to her during the period she was allegedly listed as a director of Alpha Reach, adding that no special notice of proposed removal was ever issued to her upon her purported removal in 2017.
“We submit that the foregoing infractions amount to forgery, fraudulent misrepresentation and egregious breach of extant provisions of the Penal Code Law, the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and the Companies and Allied Matters Act deserving of investigation and prosecution,” the petition insisted.
But Omojuwa had in a letter, dated 14 April, replied an earlier communication sent by Ezekwesili’s lawyer, insisting that he got consent from both Ezekwesili and Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Kaduna State, before listing them as directors in his company.
According to the blogger, both El-Rufai and Ezekwesili were removed as directors of Alpha Reach Company in 2015 when it became certain that the former would emerge Governor of Kaduna State and the latter could be appointed a minister by the then president-elect, Muhammadu Buhari.