Lawyer sues Buhari over lopsided appointments at FCC

By Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja.

An Abuja based legal practitioner, Festus Oluwasanmi Onifade has instituted a legal action against President Muhammadu Buhari has been before a Federal High Court over lopsided appointments at the Federal Character Commission (FCC), which grossly breaches  Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution.

Onifade joined the Attorney General of the Federation AGF and Ministerr of Justice, Abubakar Malami, Federal Character Commission (FCC), Mueeba Farida Dankaka and Mohammed Bello Tukur respectively  as respondents in the suit.

The plaintiff alleged Buhari violated sections 7 and 8 of the 1999 Constitution in making the political appointments.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/709/2021 and instituted on his behalf by his counsel, Moses Owuru, plaintiff accused President Buhari of violating the Constitution in the appointments of Mueeba Farida Dankaka and Mohammed Bello Tukur as Executive Chairman and Executive Secretary of the Federal Character Commission FCC respectively.

The plaintiff who claimed to be an indigene of Osun State in the South Western Region of the country, alleged that the two appointments were in clear breach of section 4 of the Federal Character Commission Act having been made from the Northern part of the country.

He therefore prayed the court to issue order to compel Buhari to immediately dissolve the Board of the commission and to reconstitute it to reflect the principle and letters of the Federal Character Commission as enshrined in the 1999 constitution.

Plaintiff who claimed to have been aggrieved with the appointments also sought another order to compel Mueeba Farida Dankaka and Mohammed Bello Tukur to vacate their offices without any delay.

In a 21-paragraph affidavit in support of the suit, plaintiff averred that Buhari on March 18, 2020 appointed Mueeba Farida Dankaka and on June 2, 2020 was confirmed by the Senate as Executive Chairman of the FCC.

He also claimed that Buhari on April 6, 2017 appointed Mohammed Bello Tukur as Executive Secretary of the FCC and that since the expiration of his tenure on April 7, 2021, he has continued to function in office.

Plaintiff averred that since the two appointees are from the North, Buhari has breached sections 7 and 8 of Nigeria’s Constitution.

He therefore asked the court to declare the appointments unlawful, unconstitutional,, illegal, null and void.

Plaintiff also wants the court to declare that Buhari and other defendants in the suit are bound to abide by the provisions of the constitution as they relate to the principle of proportional sharing of all political offices.

Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo has since fixed November 11 for hearing of the suit.

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