Sixteen socio-cultural leaders from southern Nigeria have instituted a suit against President Muhammadu Buhari for allegedly marginalising the people of the southern region from appointments in his administration.
In the suit filed before a federal high court in Abuja, the plaintiffs led by Edwin Clark are asking the court to award the sum of N50 billion against the president and other defendants as “punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages” to the constituents of the plaintiffs for the “illegal, wrongful discriminatory and unconstitutional acts”.
The plaintiffs are praying the court to determine whether the president has acted in compliance with 81(2), 814(3)(4), of the 1999 constitution (as amended) in appointing top officials since the inception of his administration in 2015.
They also want the court to determine whether it was not “reckless and adverse to the interest of Nigeria”, for 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 (USD), for infrastructural development, only to allocate a bulk of the fund to the northern region.
According to the plaintiffs, the “less than 1%” of the funds allocated to the south east zone “blatantly offends the equitable distribution principle of contained in section 16 (1) (a) (b) and S16 (2) (a) (b) (c) of the 1999 constitution (as amended)”.
Other plaintiffs in the suit are Reuben Fasoranti, Afenifere leader; John Nwodo, president general of Ohaneze Ndigbo; Pogu Bitrus; Ayo Adebanjo; Alaowei Bozimo; Sarah Doketri, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Idongsit Nkanga, Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele, Julie Umukoro, and Stephen Bangoji.
Others are Tijani Babatunde, Rose Obuoforibo, Adakole Ijogi and Charles Nwakeaku.
Buhari; Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation; Mohammed Sani-Omolori, clerk of the national assembly, and the Federal Character Commission are the defendants in the suit.
Solomon Asemota, Tijani Ayanlaja, Chuks Muoma, Albert Akpomudje, Tayo Oyetibo, Pius Akubo, Nella Andem-Rabana, Mike Ozekhome, Akinpelu Onigbinde, and Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, all senior advocates of Nigeri, filed the suit on behalf of the plaintiffs.
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