Politics

NASS LEADERSHIP: Group seeks to nullify APC zoning arrangements in new suit

NASS LEADERSHIP: Group seeks to nullify APC zoning arrangements in new suit

A group, Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International has approached the Federal High Court, Abuja praying for the nullification of the zoning arrangements out in place by the All Progressives Congress, APC, for election of principal officers of the 9th National Assembly.

The suit, which also has a member of the APC, Kenneth Uzochukwu as a plaintiff, was filed on Thursday, is seeking the court’s order declaring the zoning arrangements unconstitutional, unjust, discriminatory and clannish for excluded the South East geopolitical zone.

It would be recalled that the A PC had zoned the office if the Senate President to the North East and Speaker, House of Representatives to the South West.

The plaintiffs also averred that the party has equally zoned the position of Deputy Senate President to the South South, while the position of Deputy Speaker was zoned to the North Central.

They also contended in the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/477/2019, that with President Muhammadu Buhari from the North-West; the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osibanjo from the South-West; and the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad from the North-East, it implied that the South-East zone had been totally excluded from “the political arithmetic of Nigeria.”

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The plaintiffs further contended that this “breaches the express provisions, spirit and tenor of sections 14 (3) and (4) and 244 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); and offends the Federal Character Principle of Nigeria.”

An affidavit deposed to by Zaro Melchizedek, a litigation clerk with Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, stated that the APC-led Federal Government “believes in injustice, practises nepotism and has by its decision further divided Nigerians along ethnic and geopolitical lines, contrary to the express provisions of the constitution.

“That equitable spread of elective political/appointive offices in Nigeria is constitutional by virtue of sections 14 (3) and (4) and section 224 of the 1999 Constitution and should be strictly followed in the appointment, election, selection, nomination or endorsement of all persons to occupy all political offices in Nigeria.”

The plaintiffs therefore prayed the court for an order directing, compelling the APC “to review/reverse its unconstitutional, unjust, discriminatory and clannish decision to zone/cede the presiding/principal officers of the National Assembly in a manner that offends the Federal Character of Nigeria, provided for in section 14 (3) and (4) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).”

It is also seeking an order “directing and compelling the 1st defendant to observe the Federal Character Principle of Nigeria in every of its decision(s) and programme(s) in line with the express/mandatory provisions of Section 224 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

An order “compelling/mandating the Federal Character Commission of Nigeria to carry out its constitutional/statutory responsibility of working out equitable formula for the distribution of all cadres of posts in the public service of the federation, particularly the present composition of the government of the federation.”

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Timothy Enietan-Matthews

Timothy is a versatile journalist, down to earth with a critical and curious mind.

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