Abuja Indigenes Lose Bid to Stop Inauguration of Ministers


*Threaten showdown over non-inclusion

By Alex Enumah in Abuja

Indigenes of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) on Monday failed in their bid to stop President Muhammadu Buhari from inuagurating the 43 ministerial nominees, following the refusal of the Federal High Court, Abuja to grant an order to that effect.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court in a ruling on an exparte application brought by an aggrieved FCT indigene and an Abuja based legal practitioner, Musa Baba-Panya, declined to grant the exparte order and ordered that the respondents be put on notice.

Baba-Panya, had on behalf of himself and the indigenes of Abuja, dragged Buhari to court for failing to appoint an indigene of the FCT into the Federal Executive Council.

Defenfants in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/878/19, are President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, 1st and 2nd respondents respectively.

None of the 43 ministerial nominees into the Federal Executive Council is from the FCT.

And following their successful screening by the Senate last month, the Federal government announced that they would be formally inuagurated on August 21.

This development prompted the applicant to approach the court for an order stopping Buhari from going ahead with the planned inuaguration pending the hearing and determination of the main suit challenging the exclusion of the FCT representation in the cabinet.

Delivering judgment, Justice Taiwo Taiwo held that the applicant was guilty of delay, since the names of the ministers have already been confirmed by the National Assembly.

Justice Taiwo in addition said the court had no place to grant an injunction when the applicant had not establish a legal right.

While holding that the court is inclined to grant an accelerated hearing in the main suit than granting a restraining order, the judge however advised the plaintiff to serve the processes on the AGF alone, since it may be very difficult to personally serve Buhari with the suit.

Details later…