Lawyer Sues Buhari, Minister over Alleged Lopsided Appointments

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

An Abuja based lawyer, Mr. Maxwell Opara yesterday at the Federal High Court, Abuja, instituted legal action against President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Bello over alleged violation of Federal Character Act in the appointments of Permanent Secretaries, Executive Secretaries, Personal Aids, Directors and other staffers into the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

Opara, in the suit, marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1523/2021, is asking the court for an order directing the FCT Minister and other defendants to comply with the provisions of Sections 4(1)(a)(b) and 5 of the Federal Character (Establishment) Act in all appointments in all cadres of posts in FCTA.

FCT Minister, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation and the Federal Character Commission are first to fourth defendants respectively.

Specifically, plaintiff formu-lated three issues for the determination of the court and also wants the court to declare that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) is empowered by law to formulate principles and guidelines for the application of the federal character principle of fairness and equitable distribution of all cadre of posts in the Federal Government of Nigeria and to ensure compliance to the said formulae.

Plaintiff, in addition is praying the court to declare that the 1st to 3rd defendants are under obligation to comply with the provisions of Part 1, Section 1 to 9 and Part III, Section 4 and 5 if the guiding principle and formulae for distribution of all cadre of posts and in appointments into all cadre of posts into the FCTA.

“A declaration that the recent appointment on November 23, 2021 of Perm-Secs, Executive Secretaries and other staffers of FCTA by 1st to 3rd defendants clearly offends sections 4(1)(a)(b) and 5 of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc) and provisions of Part 1, sections 1 to 9 and Part III, section 4 and 5 of the guiding principle and formulae for distribution of all cadre of posts made pursuant to section 4(1)(a) of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, Etc) Act and accordingly the said appointments are void”.

In a 20-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the plaintiff, he said recently, the FCT Minister, in conjunction with other defendants appointed political, ministerial and other staffers of FCTA against the federal character principle.

He alleged that appointments as done by the FCT Minister favoured people who are mostly from the northern part of the country. Meanwhile, no date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit which was filed on Wednesday.