Senate Urges Buhari to Obey Court Order on FCT Ministerial Appointment

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Muhammadu Buhari

Chuks Okocha and Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The Senate thursday called in President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the judgment of the Appeal Court on the constitutional requirement in appointing an indigene of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT ) as a member of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The Senate said that this would be in line with the constitutional provisions that a minister be appointed from all the 36 states of the country and the FCT.

The Court of Appeal in Abuja had on the basis of a suit brought before it by concerned indigenes of FCT on the need for an indigene of the FCT to be among the serving ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria , ruled that the President should appoint an indigene of the FCT.

Senator Philip Tanimu Aduda representing FCT senatorial district had yesterday submitted a petition from an indigene of the territory, Mr Ezekiel .D. Musa, against the refusal of President Buhari to appoint anybody from the area as minister .

The Petition was subsequently considered by the Senate and forwarded to the Committee on Ethics , Privileges and Public Petition for necessary legislative action.

The committee in its report submitted by Senator Ayo Akinyelure ( PDP Ondo Central), recommended that based on the decisions of the Court of Appeal Abuja and the Constitutional provisions of sections 299 and 147(3) , indigenes of FCT be granted approval by the President to be represented in the Federal Executive Council as Minister .

In approving the recommendation after exhaustive debate by Senators , the Senate through an amended prayer , resolved that “Senate notes the ruling of the Court of Appeal Abuja in respect of appointment of a Minister from the Federal Capital Territory and refer same to the Executive for consideration”.

The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe ( PDP Abia South), in his contribution at the plenary said that the Senate by the resolution has put on hold appointment of anybody from FCT as minister but the President of the Senate , Dr. Ahmad Lawan quickly interjected to say that it not represent the issues at hand.

.Lawan in its clarification said what the Senate resolved on the matter in the light of the petition, recommendation made by its committee and the directive by the Appeal Court last year, was that the judgment given should be considered by the executive as far as the subject matter is concerned.