The uproar over the alleged lopsidedness in the appointments of persons into key positions by President Muhammadu Buhari has metamorphosed into legal action following a lawsuit against the president by an Abuja-based legal practitioner.
In the suit filed at the registry of the Federal High Court, Abuja, the plaintiff, Dim-Udebuani Marcel, prayed the court for: “an order compelling President Buhari (1st defendant) to reverse the appointments so far made to observe and comply with the principle of Federal Character as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”
The recent appointments of the Chief of Staff, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Comptrollers-General of Customs and Prisons Service among others by president Buhari has only gravitated the controversy as some sections of the country has tagged his administration as a ‘Northern enclave.’
Also joined with he President as defendants is the Chairman, Federal Character Commission (FCC) as 2nd defendant.
In his originating summons, the plaintiff posed the following questions for the court’s determination:
Whether the total of the twenty-five (25) appointments made so far by the 1st defendant (Buhari) is not against the spirit of Section 14 (3) of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Whether the exclusion of the South-East geo-political zone in the twenty-five (25) appointments made so far by the 1st defendant is unconstitutional and divisive, among others.
The lawyer further asked the court for an order compelling the 2nd defendant (FCC) to invoke paragraph 8 (1) (C) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
In addition, he is seeking for an order of court declaring all the appointments so far made null and void for violation of the principle of Federal Character enshrined in our constitution aforesaid.
Marcel rooted his complaint on the premise that the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a country for all the citizens, South-East inclusive, and that “the entire five (5) States that make up South-East geo-political zone has no appointment yet.”
The lawyer argued that the North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-West and South-South have had representations in the appointments made so far.
In the affidavit in support of the originating summons, the plaintiff said he swore to defend and protect the nation’s constitution, contending that the suit bothers on constitutional breach.
The plaintiff observed that it is in the best interest of justice and promotion of rule of law that the lopsided appointments should be discouraged by granting all the prayers before the court.
No date has been fixed for a hearing.
Source: The Sun