35.8 C
Nigeria
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Tinubu’s appointment of Musawa as minister unconstitutional, NGO tells Nigerian court 

Tinubu’s appointment of Musawa as minister unconstitutional, NGO tells Nigerian court 

A Nigerian Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has taken a fresh suit to restrain the country’s Minister of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musa Musawa, from serving as a member of President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet.

In an Originating Summons with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1230/2023, the Incorporated Trustees of African Leadership & Transparency Development Initiative, a non governmental organisation (NGO), is seeking to a declaration that the seat of the Minister is still vacant, and to equally bar the minister from receiving salaries, emoluments and other perks attached to the office.

The plaintiff maintained that Musawa, being a serving National Youth Corps member, is not legally qualified to be appointed as a minister in Nigeria.

According to the plaintiff, the swearing in of Musawa as a minister, despite being a public officer by virtue of the fact that she is still a serving member of the National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) was in grave breach of Section 66 (1) (f); 147(5) and 1 (1&2) of the 1999 constitution, as amended.

The plaintiff told the court that Section 147(5) of the constitution stipulated that no person should be appointed as a Minister of the Government of the Federation, unless he is qualified for election as a member of the House of Representatives.

It added that Section 66 (1) (f) of the constitution expressly provided that no person should be qualified for election to the Senate or the House of Representatives, if such person is employed in the public service of the Federation or of any State and has not resigned, withdrawn or retired from such employment 30 days before the date of election.

The plaintiff told the court that Musawa, who is a public officer by virtue of being a current member of the NYSC, was sworn into office as a minister on August 21, 2023.

The plaintiff prayed the court to determine: “Whether upon an intimate reading and comprehensive understanding of Sections 1 (1& 2), 66 (1) (f), 147(5) and 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the 1st Defendant is qualified to be sworn in and employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at a time when she is a serving member of the National Youth Service Corp?”

Upon determination of the sole legal question, the organization wants the court to among other things, declare that, “upon an intimate reading and comprehensive understanding of Sections 1 (1& 2), 66 (1) (f), 147(5) and 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the 1st Defendant is not qualified to be employed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at a time when she was a serving member of the National Youth Service Corp.

“A declaration of this Honourable Court that, upon an intimate reading and comprehensive understanding of Sections 1 (1& 2), 66 (1) (f), 147(5) and 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by the 2nd Defendant herein, is without constitutional vires to employ the 1st Defendant, who is a serving member of the National Youth Service Corp, as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“A declaration of this Honourable Court that, the employment of the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as represented by the 2nd Defendant herein, is unconstitutional, null and void and of no legal effect whatsoever regard being had to the combined provisions of Sections 1 (1& 2), 66 (1) (f), 147(5) and 315(5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“An order of this Honourable Court setting aside the employment of the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by the Federal Government of Nigeria, as represented by the 2nd Defendant herein, same being a nullity.

“An order of this Honourable Court declaring vacant the seat and office of the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy in as much as it is being occupied by the 1st Defendant herein, Ms. Hannatu Musawa.

“An order of this Honourable Court restraining the 1st Defendant, Ms. Hannatu Musawa, forthwith, from parading herself, acting, holding out herself as the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy or exercising the powers and functions of the office of a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or drawing salaries, emoluments and perks attached to the said office.

“An order of this Honourable Court directing the 1st Defendant to, forthwith, refund all the illegal salaries, emoluments and benefits she has so far received since the date she assumed office as the Minister of Art, Culture and Creative Economy until the date of delivery of judgment.

“An order of this Honourable Court mandating the 2nd Defendant [the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation] to ensure total compliance, forthwith, by all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria who shall forthwith cease recognizing the 1st Defendant as a Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or according her any privilege due to the occupant of such office.”

Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice was included as the 2nd defendant in the suit.

The suit has not gotten a date for hearing.

 

Share your thoughts on the story Tinubu’s appointment of Musawa as minister unconstitutional, NGO tells Nigerian court  with NigerianSketch in the comments section below.

Related Articles

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected

20,694FansLike
3,912FollowersFollow
0SubscribersSubscribe
- Advertisement -spot_img

Latest Articles