New Telegraph

Court Declares Buhari’s Appointment Of FCC Chair, Secretary Illegal

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, declared the appointment of the Federal Character Commission Chairperson, Muheeba Dankaka, and Secretary, Bello Tukur by former President Muhammadu Buhari as unlawful.

It would be recalled that Buhari had in April 2020 appointed 38 individuals to the board of the FCC, including Dankaka and Tukur.

A lawsuit filed by Festus Onifade against the former President and the Attorney-General of the Federation challenged the appointment of Dankaka and Tukur.

The suit, marked FHC/ABJ/CS/709/2021, included the FCC, Dankaka, and Tukur as the third, fourth, and fifth defendants respectively.

Onifade argued that the appointment of Dankaka and Tukur, both from the North Central, by the former President violated the 1999 Constitution as amended and the Act of the National Assembly.

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He stated, “The appointment by the first respondent of the fourth and fifth 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.”

He sought a declaration that the President (1st defendant) is obligated to observe and comply with the provisions of Sections 7 and 8 (1), (2) (a) (b) (c) of the Third Schedule, part 1 of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) in the appointment of persons to the office of the Chairman and Secretary of FCC.

He also sought an order directing the President to immediately dissolve and reconstitute the FCC’s board in adherence to the laws.

When delivering the judgment on Wednesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo ruled that the former President did not adhere to the provisions of the Constitution and the FCC Act in appointing Tukur and Dankaka.

He stated, “Therefore, I find that there has been a failure of the 1st defendant to comply with the provision of Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), Section 4 (1) (a) of the FCC Establishment Act, 2004 and Section 4 of the Guiding Principles and Formulae for the Distribution of all Cadres of Posts,1997 made pursuant to Section 4 (1) (a) of the FCCE Act, 2004.”

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