Activist sues Buhari, FCT minister, AGF for alleged lopsidedness in FCTA appointments

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An activist and Abuja based lawyer, Maxwel Opara, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Bello, through a Federal High Court in Abuja for alleged violation of Federal Character Act in the appointments of Permanent Secretaries, Executive Secretaries, Personal Aides , Directors and other staff members into the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).

The suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1523/2021, has the FCT Minister, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation and the Federal Character Commission as 1st to 4th defendants.

The plaintiff in the suit is seeking an order of the court, directing the FCT Minister and other defendants to comply with the provisions of Sections 4(1)(a)(b) and 5 of the Federal Character (Establishment) Act in all appointments in all cadres of posts in FCTA.

Opara, who formulated three issues for the determination also wants the court to declare that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) is empowered by law to formulate principles and guidelines for the application of the federal character principle of fairness and equitable distribution of all cadres of posts in the federal government of Nigeria and to ensure compliance with the said formulae.

He also prayed the court to declare that the 1st to 3rd defendants are under obligation to comply with the provisions of Part 1, Section 1 to 9 and Part III, Section 4 and 5 if the guiding principle and formulae for distribution of all cadres of posts and in appointments into all cadres of posts into the Federal Capital Administration.

“A declaration that the recent appointment on. 23 of November, 2021 of Perm-Secs, executive secretaries and other staffers if FCTA by 1st to 3rd defendants clearly offends sections 4(1)(a)(b) and 5 of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc) and provisions of Part 1, sections 1 to 9 and Part III, section 4 and 5 of the guiding principle and formulae for distribution of all cadre of posts made pursuant to section 4(1)(a) of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, Etc) Act and accordingly the said appointments are void.”

In a 20-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the plaintiff, he said recently that the FCT Minister, in conjunction with other defendants, appointed political, ministerial and other staffers of FCTA against the Federal Character principle.

He alleged that the appointments as done by the FCT Minister favoured people who are mostly from the northern part of the country.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit which was filed today, December 1, 2021.

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