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No, Bola Tinubu has not suspended courts in Nigeria over fear of disqualification as president

IN SHORT: Facebook posts claim that Nigerian president Bola Tinubu has suspended all courts in the country over fear of disqualification. But there are no news reports of this in any credible news platforms in the country.

“Just In: Presidential Candidate Tinubu Announces Suspension of All Courts in Nigeria, Citing Fear of Disqualification,” reads a post on Facebook.

The 26 July 2023 post says, in part: “He stated that he was suspending the courts in order to ‘protect the integrity of the electoral process and ensure the fairness of the upcoming election judgment’.”

Bola Tinubu was elected president in Nigeria’s 25 February 2023 general election. His victory was met with stiff opposition from Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, who came second and third in the polls.

The post has a link that takes readers to a website called Igbo Times Magazine

It has attracted likes and a few comments, with one of them calling for “rebellion” in the country.

Similar posts are found here and here.

But is the claim true? We checked.


False news

The suspension of the court of law would be very big news in a democracy. That alone is reason enough to doubt the credibility of this particular claim. 

Africa Check searched credible news platforms across the country for reports on the suspension of the courts and found nothing like it.

On legal challenges against Tinubu’s victory, a 1 August report on the court processes said that the presidential election petition tribunal was expected to deliver its verdict before the end of September. 

The judiciary, in a constitutional democracy like Nigeria, is not under the direct control of the president. This arm of government preserves the rule of law and is independent and impartial, according to Nigeria’s 1999 amended constitution.

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