A senior advocate of Nigeria, and former Nigerian Bar Association president, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba has sued the Buhari led federal government over its failure to appoint any Igbo to the board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The move which is against the Federal Character principle enshrined in the constitution is a testament to President Buhari’s marginalization of the South Easterners, according to pundits.
According to Agbakoba, more than one person was appointed from other geo-political zones in violation of the Constitution.
Members of the board include Dr Tajuddeen Umar (Northeast), Dr. Maikanti Baru (Northeast), Mr. Abba Kyari (Northeast), Mr. Mahmoud Isa-Dutse (North Central), Mallam Mohammed Lawal and Mallam Yusuf Lawal (both Northerners).
Others are Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu (South-South), Dr. Thomas M.A John (South-South), and Dr. Pius Akinyelure (South-West).
“The reason for the action (lawsuit) is that the Federal Government has always discriminated against Nigerians indigenous to the states in the Southeast zone in the appointments into the board of the second respondent (NNPC).
“The Federal Government, by the lopsided appointment, accords numerical advantage to states in other geo-political zones to the detriment of the applicant’s Southeast geopolitical zone that is totally excluded from the board of the second respondent,” he said.
Agbakoba is seeking a declaration that the distribution of appointment into the NNPC’s Board made on July 5 last year violates the principle of democracy, social justice and Federal Character prescribed by Section 14(1) and (13) of the 1999 Constitution.
He is praying for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the Federal Government from further violation of the Constitution and other laws including the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act in appointment of NNPC board members.
He further asked for an order of perpetual injunction directing the Federal Government to henceforth apply the constitutional principles of democracy, social justice and all laws relating to Federal Character, including the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc.) Act in appointing NNPC board members.