A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, to appear in court in respect of a suit challenging appointments made by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory.
The suit was filed by an Abuja-based legal practitioner, Maxwell Opara, challenging what he alleged to be “lopsided appointments” of 16 Mandate Secretaries and Permanent Secretaries by the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, without recourse to the Federal Character Principle.
Other defendants in the suit are the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the AGF and the Federal Character Commission.
Mr Opara wants a declaration of the court that the recent appointments in November, last year, of permanent secretaries, executive secretaries and other staff of the Federal Capital Territory Administration by the 1st to 3rd Defendants clearly offends sections 4 (1)(a)(b) and 5 of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment) Act, and accordingly the said appointments are void.
At a resumed sitting, only the FCT Minister was represented in court by Felix Ibanga, who filed a counter-affidavit in opposition to the suit.
However, due to some depositions by the 1st Defendant, the court was of the opinion that a piece of affidavit evidence by the AGF would be required in the matter.
The judge, Justice Inyang Ekwo insisted that Mr Malami must appear and state his own side of the story to enable the court to do justice in the case.
Consequently, the matter was adjourned until the 9th of June, this year.
Reporting by Ifeoma Nwovu; Editing by Omotola Oguneye