Court declares Buhari’s appointment of FCC chair, secretary illegal - LagosTrend

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Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Court declares Buhari’s appointment of FCC chair, secretary illegal


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

Buhari had in April 2020 appointed 38 people, including the chairperson and secretary, to the board of the FCC.

One Festus Onifade had sued the former President and Attorney-General of the Federation to challenge the appointment of Dankaka and Tukur.

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

Onifade argued that the former President’s appointment of Dankaka and Tukur, both from the North Central, was in violation of the 1999 Constitution as amended and the Act of National Assembly.

He said, “The appointment by 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 bound to observe and comply with the provision of Sectons 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 sought an order directing the president to immediately dissolve and reconstitute the FCC’s board in accordance with the laws.

Delivering judgment on the matter on Wednesday, Justice Inyang Ekwo held that the former President did not comply with the provisions of the Constitution and the FCC Act in the appointment of Tukur and Dankaka.

He said, “Therefore, I find that there has been 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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