Nigeria: Buhari Taken to Court Over Delay in Ministers Appointment

3 July 2019

A Federal High Court sitting in Lagos has been urged to compel President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately appoint ministers as stipulated by law to kick-start the running of the government.

In a suit filed by a Lagos lawyer, Mr Kabir Akingbolu, he was asking the court to declare that the failure of President Buhari to "appoint requisite number of ministers as stipulated by the law" is a breach of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Joined as defendant in the suit is the Attorney General of the Federation.

While condemning the delay in the appointment of the ministers, Akingbolu urged the Court to direct the President to resign as an alternative if he is not ready to act in line with the provisions of the constitution.

According to him, sections 147and 148 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria impose duties on the President "to appoint ministers to man various agencies or direct the affairs of various agencies or ministries of the Federal republic of Nigeria."

Akingbolu argued that, as a legal practitioner and civil crusader, he is under an obligation to ensure that the provisions of the Constitution are kept and obeyed by any government officials.

He averred that the President has failed and neglected to appoint any minister since he took over government on May 29, 2019, which he argued has led to suffering and untold hardship on the citizenry.

He noted that many sectors and spheres of life are left unattended to especially the economy, the petroleum sector, education, works and infrastructural development.

"The economy has gone comatose and this has made life unbearable for an average citizen including the Plaintiff."

In the affidavit in support of the originating summons, he submitted that, "it is customary of the 1st Defendant to neglect his duties as the president and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Republic of Nigeria," adding, "the president is weak and tardy in taking decisions on proper governance."

He added that when President Buhari took over power in the first term, he failed to appoint ministers for several months and "this failure caused the nation untold hardships as the economy lacked directions to toe and make life easy for the citizens."

No date has been fixed for hearing.

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