Mr Dim-Udebuani Marcel, a lawyer, has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an order of court nullifying the alleged lopsided appointments that President Muhammadu Buhari has made vis-a-vis key positions in his administration since he assumed office on May 29.
The plaintiff, in the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/732/2015, brought by an originating summons, dated and filed on Aug. 31, joined Buhari and the Chairman, Federal Character Commission (FCC) as co-defendants.
He formulated issues for determination by the court bordering on: “Whether the total of twenty-five (25) appointments made so far by the 1st defendant (Buhari) is not against the spirit of Section 14 (3) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“And whether the exclusion of the South-East geo-political zone in the twenty-five (25) appointments made so far by the 1st defendant is unconstitutional and divisive, among others.’’
The plaintiff is seeking the following reliefs: “An order compelling the 1st defendant to reverse the appointments so far made to observe and comply with the principle of Federal Character, as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“An order of court compelling the 2nd defendant (FCC) to invoke paragraph 8 (1) (C) of the Third Schedule to the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).
“An order of court declaring all the appointments so far made null and void for violation of the principle of Federal Character enshrined in our constitution aforesaid.”
He further set out the grounds for the reliefs sought as follows: “That the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a country for all the citizens, South-East inclusive.
“That the 2nd defendant is a creation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“That the entire five (5) States that make up the South-East geo-political zone have no appointment yet.
“The North-East, North-West, North-Central, South-West and South-South have had representations in the appointments made so far.’’
Marcel, in his affidavit in support of the originating summons, averred that he swore to defend and protect the nation’s constitution, adding that the suit bothered on a breach of the constitution by Buhari.
He noted that the constitution ought to be obeyed in all appointments, yet the recent appointments that were made by the president were lopsided.
He submitted that it was in the best interest of justice and the promotion of rule of law that the lopsided appointments should be reversed by granting all the prayers sought by him.
The Street Journal recalls that the President on Thursday appointed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the Chief of Staff, the Comptrollers-General of Nigeria Customs and Immigration Services, among others, all being people from the northern part of the country where he comes from.
The appointments which followed a similar pattern done by him since he assumed office on May 29, where most of his appointees into key offices are from the Northern part of the country, has recently generated furor and threats from some sections of the country.
The case has yet to be assigned to a judge of the court and no date has been fixed for its hearing.