Court judgment: Legal practitioner urges Tinubu to correct appointment of FCC chair, secretary

Court judgment: Legal practitioner urges Tinubu to correct appointment of FCC chair, secretary
January 17 09:55 2024 Print This Article

President Bola Tinubu has been urged to correct the appointment of the Federal Character Commission (FCC)’s chairman and secretary by the previous government.A legal practitioner, Mr Festus Onifade, made the call in a letter to President Tinubu on Wednesday and a certified true copy made available to newsmen in Abuja.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had, on April 28, 2020, appointed Muheeba Dankaka as FCC chairman for a five-year tenure and was confirmed by the Senate on June 2, 2020.
Also the ex-president approved the appointment of Bello Tukur as FCC’s secretary on April 14, 2017 and was reappointed on March 12, 2021 for a term of four years.
While Dankaka is from Kwara, Tukur hails from Taraba; the duo coming from the northern geopolitical zone.
Against this backdrop, Onifade, in a suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/709/2021, sued the president, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), FCC, Dankaka and Tukur as 1st to 5th defendants respectively at the Federal High Court, Abuja
In the originating summons dated and filed on July 19, 2021, the lawyer sought a declaration that “the president is bound to observe and comply with the provision of Sections 7 and 8 (1), (2) (a) (b) (c) of the Third Schedule, part 1 of the 1999 Constitution (As Amended) in the appointment of persons to the office of the Chairman and Secretary of FCC.”
He also sought an order directing the president to immediately dissolve and reconstitute the FCC’s board in accordance with the laws.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, in his judgment on Nov. 22, 2023, declared that the appointment of Dankaka and Tukur from the northern region was unlawful.
Meanwhile, in a letter dated Jan. 16 and titled: “Appeal to Mr President to Safeguard the Integrity of Federal Character Commission,” the constitutional lawyer prayed the president to give effect to the court judgment.
In the letter, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. Sen. George Akume, and Chief Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Attorney-General of Federation and Minister of Justice, were also copied.
Onifade said: “It is against this background that we make this appeal to you sir to give effect to the judgement of the court by appointing persons from different geo-political zones who will represent the diversity recognised in the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (As Amended).
“Mr. President sir, it may not have come to notice that the morale of staff is at all-time low and this singular incident has caused a lot of resentment among staff of the commission.
“This is particularly because the commission itself is guilty of the infractions it was constitutional and statutory created to remedy.
“Sir like the popular saying ‘remove the log in your eyes, before the log in mine.’
Mr. President Sir, your timely intervention will remedy this anomaly and restore the commission back to performing its constitutional and statutory functions efficiently.
“It will also restore confidence of Nigerians in this administration as a government of inclusion, endearing hope in governance, and giving every Nigerian a sense of belonging.”

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