A lawyer, Festus Onifade, has taken President Muhammadu Buhari to court for appointing Dr Muheeba Dankaka from Kwara State and Mohammed Bello Tukur from Taraba State as the Chairman and Secretary of Federal Character Commission respectively.
The lawyer argued that the President’s appointment of Dankaka and Tukur, both from North Central part of the country, is a gross violation of the 1999 constitution as amended and the Act of National Assembly.
SaharaReporters obtained the court documents of the originating summons, between Onifade as the Plaintiff, and the President, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Federal Character Commission, Muheeba Dankaka and Mohammed Bello Tukur as the defendants.
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja, the lawyer states that “the appointment by 1st Respondent of the 4th and 5th Respondents is unlawful, unconstitutional null and void ab nitio for non-compliance with Section 7 and 8 (1) & (2) a,b,c of the third Schedule, Part 1 of 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria (Amended), Section 4(1) of the Subsidiary Legislation (GUIDING PRINCIPLES AND FORMULAE FOR THE DISTRIBUTION OF ALL CADRES OF POSTS) 1997 of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, Act 1995.”
According to the papers, the suit is seeking “A DECLARATION that all actions by the 4th and 5th Respondents taken within the period of infraction are unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void. AN ORDER directing the 4th and 5th Respondents to immediately vacant office forthwith.
“AN ORDER directing the 1st Respondent to immediately appoint another person into the position in compliance with the provision of the constitution and the Act of National Assembly.”
The court papers read further, “I know the 1st Respondent is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and has the constitutional responsible for the appointment of the 4th and 5th Respondent.
“The 2nd Respondent is the appointee of the Federal Government of Nigeria as the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the federation saddled and the chief law officer of the federation.
“The 3rd Respondent is the agency of Government Federal Character Commission with responsibility to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of the proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government where 4th and 5th Respondent work.
“The 4th Respondent (MUEEBA FARIDA DANKAKA) was appointed by the 1st Respondent by a letter addressed to the National Assembly dated 18th March, 2020 and was confirm by the National Assembly 2nd June, 2020 as the Executive Chairman of the commission.
“The 4th Respondent is the Executive Chairman of the 3rd Respondent and is statutory empowered to superintend over the commission day to day activities.
“The 5th Respondent (BARR. MOHAMMED BELLO TUKUR) was appointed the Secretary of 3rd Respondent (The Commission) by 1st the Respondent on 6th April, 2017 for an initial period of four (4) years term in office.
“The 5th Respondent is the Secretary of 3rd Respondent with the responsibilities of for keeping proper records of the proceedings of the Commission; and the head of the Commission’s secretariat and be responsible for the administration thereof and the direction and control of all other employees of the Commission. That by that appointment the tenure of office of the 5th Respondent expires on 5th April, 2021.”
SaharaReporters, New York