Nigerian Lawyer Drags Buhari To Court Over Planned Swearing In Of New Ministers

August 16, 2019
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A Nigerian lawyer, Musa Baba-panya has filled a suit seeking stop President Muhammadu Buhari from continuing with the swearing in of his recently screened ministerial nominees.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja will on Monday, 19th August 2019, deliver its ruling in the suit, which came as a result of the exclusion of a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) indigene from his cabinet list.

Musa Baba-panya argues that the omission of the FCT from the list makes it incomplete. He wants the court to declare the nominations and planned oath taking null and void.

In the suit with number FHC/ABJ/CS/878/19, Baba-panya, who is also an indigene of Karu in the FCT, said the president’s action was contrary to an appeal court judgment delivered on March 15, 2018.

In the suit, President Buhari is the first defendant while the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) is the second defendant.

The lawyer wants the court to declare that the ministerial list is not complete and as a result, it is illegal and unconstitutional to inaugurate the nominees.

“The first defendant stands in contempt of law and court for his brazen refusal to comply with the tenor of the Abuja division of Court of Appeal judgment of 15/1/2018 compelling him to the immediate and forthwith appointment off an indigene of FCT, Abuja as minister of the federation,” he said.

With another lawyer, Sylvanus Tanko, Baba-panya, prayed the court to grant an interim injunction restraining the president from inaugurating the confirmed ministers-designate pending the determination of the motion on notice.

He argued that allowing the president to go on with his decision would mean that “he is going to constitute an illegal cabinet.”

He also said despite the fact that President Buhari presently has 43 ministerial-designate, he was yet to meet “the minimum requirement of the constitution which is at least one minister each from the 36 states including FCT, making a total of 37.

“If the court would not be inclined to grant the interim injunction order, we have prayed in the alternative for the court to issue an order on the Mr President and the AGF to come and show course why it should not issue an interim injunction.”

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