Ocholi’s Replacement: Court Quashes Suit against Buhari

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Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja

A Federal High Court sitting in Lokoja tueseday quashed a suit challenging President Muhammadu Buhari over his failure to appoint a minister to represent Kogi State in his cabinet following the death of James Ocholi (SAN).

A lawyer, Daniel Makolo, had on October 14, filed a suit at the court pursuant to Order 34 Rule 1 and Order 5 Rule 1 of the Federal High Court (Civil Procedure) Rules 2009, Sections 6(6 a & b), 14(1-3) and 147(1-3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Those joined as respondents in the suit were the president, Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

In her ruling, Justice Phoebe Ayua of Federal High Court, Lokoja dismissed the suit on grounds that the applicant lacked locus standi for the orders being sought.

She held that the applicant had failed show how the decision of the president in not appointing a minister from Kogi State in his cabinet has “adversely affected him as a person over and above that of the general public.”
The applicant, had amongst others sought for an order of mandamus compelling President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a minister representing Kogi State from among the qualified indigenes of the state.

He also sought for an order declaring that the refusal, failure or neglect of President Buhari to appoint a minister from Kogi to be part of his cabinet since the death of his former appointee was wrongful, unlawful and unconstitutional.

Makolo equally sought an order of court directing the Attorney General of the Federation to initiate a corona inquest into “the suspicious accident that caused the death of Ocholi on March 6, 2016 along the Kaduna-Abuja road to make public the actual and remote cause of the accident that claimed his life, his wife and that of his son.”
Reacting to the ruling, Makolo said he would study the ruling and go on an appeal to seek further judicial interpretations, noting that he was in court to seek justice for the entire people of Kogi State by demanding that the president appoints a minister from the state as stipulated by the constitution.