Constitutional War Erupts in Nigeria as Aggrieved Leaders Dare Buhari on Flagrant Abuses

A rainbow coalition of concerned Nigerian leaders has risen to checkmate President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged flagrant constitutional abuses and abuse of power since the inception of his administration in 2015.

The aggrieved Nigerian leaders are, Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Dr John Nnia Nwodo, Dr Pogu Bitrus, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alaowei Bozimo, Mrs Sarah Doketri, Dr Chukwuemeka Ezeife, and Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga,.   

Others include Senator Koforola Bucknor- Akerele, Prof Julie Umukoro, Elder Stephen Bangoji, Alhaji Tijani Babatunde, Mrs Rose Obioforibo, Mr Adakole Ijogi and Dr Charles Nwakeaku.

In a Suit, FHC/ABJ/CS/595/2020, that comes up this Wednesday at a Federal High Court, Abuja, the plaintiffs want the court to determine whether Buhari has been flagrantly abusing Nigeria’s Constitution and his powers in his conducts as president.

They are  seeking a declaration “that the  defendants’  collective failure to comply with the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution particularly Section 14(3)(4) and other laws are a flagrant violation of their rights, guaranteed  by the 1999 Constitution and other laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

They are therefore, praying for a perpetual injunction restraining President Buhari from further violations of the Constitution and other laws of the country. They are also seeking the award of N50 billion to them as exemplary and aggravated damages by the defendants.

Among other things, the plaintiffs are also praying the court to determine whether it was not “reckless and adverse to the interest of Nigeria” for President Buhari to obtain a loan facility from the Islamic Development Bank, African Development Bank, the World Bank, China, Japan and Germany amounting to $22.7 billion for infrastructural development only to allocate the bulk of the fund to the Northern region.

They are seeking a declaration that the loan facility purportedly for infrastructural development wherein less than 1% of the amount is to be allocated to the South east zone of Nigeria violates section 16(1)(a) (b) and S16(2) (A) (B) (C) of the Nigerian Constitution( as amended). 

It also includes a declaration  “that the 1st defendant’s procurement of any loan which would increase Nigeria’s outstanding debt by 30% of its GDP or which  would increase its  interest payment above 50% of government revenue is unconstitutional”.

Apart from President Buhari, also listed as 2nd to 4th defendants in the matter include the Attorney General of the Federation, Clerk of National Assembly, and the Federal Character Commission.

The plaintiffs are represented by a consortium of lawyers comprising 10 Senior Advocates of Nigeria led by Chief Solomon Asemota, and Chief Mike Ozekhome.

They are equally praying the court to determine whether:” The power to appoint designated offices including permanent secretaries, principal representatives of Nigeria abroad, which is vested in the 1st defendant has been lawfully exercised by him since the inception of his administration, from 201`5 to date, and whether his actions are in breach of Sections 171(5), 814(3) (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Whether the power to appoint Nigeria’s  Armed  Services Chiefs, other commanders or  top officials of the respective armed forces  higher and high commands General Staff; namely  the Chief of Defense Staff,(CDS) Chief of Army Staff(COAS) Chief of Naval Staff(CNS) and Chief of Air Staff,(CAS), the other statutorily established  Nigerian Security  agencies or services namely: The Inspector General of Police, (IGP) the Directors General of the  State Security Service,(SSS) National Intelligence Agency, (NIA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency, (DIA); the heads of the  National Security Associated Federal Government(FG)  establishments, namely  Nigerian Civil Defense and Security Corps, (NCDSC) Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) the Nigerian Customs and Excise Service, the Nigerian Immigration Services,(NIS) the Nigerian Correctional Services(NCS) the National Emergency Management  Authority, (NEMA) the National Youth Service Corps, (NYSC), the National Security Adviser,(NSA), ministers of Defence, Interior, Police and the  respective national security ministries’ permanent secretaries’ which is vested in the 1st defendant, has been lawfully exercised by the 1st defendant  since the inception of his administration and whether these appointments  are in compliance with  61(2), 814(3)(4) 8217(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

Some of the reliefs being sought by the leaders include the reversal of the lopsided appointments of service chiefs and the IGP which they argued contravened the constitutional provisions on federal character and age bar retirement.

They also cited the headship of the Judiciary at all strata being occupied by people from the North, including the Supreme Court, Appeal Court, Federal High Court, and the Code of Conduct Bureau.

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