An Abuja based lawyer and social crusader, Mr Maxwel Opara, has dragged President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Mohammed Bello, before a Federal High Court in Abuja over an alleged violation of Federal Character Act in the appointments of Mandate Secretaries, Personal Aides , Directors and other staffers into the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
The suit marked, FHC/ABJ/CS/1523/2021, has the FCT Minister, the President, Attorney General of the Federation, and the Federal Character Commission as defendants.
He is seeking an order of the court, directing the FCT Minister and other defendants to comply with the provisions of Sections 4(1)(a)(b) and 5 of the Federal Character (Establishment) Act in all appointments in all cadres of posts in FCTA.
Opara, who formulated three issues for the determination of the court also wants the court to declare that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) is empowered by law to formulate principles and guidelines for the application of the federal character principle of fairness and equitable distribution of all cadre of posts in the federal government of Nigeria and to ensure compliance to the said formulae.
He also prayed the court to declare that the 1st to 3rd defendants are under obligation to comply with the provisions of Part 1, Section 1 to 9 and Part III, Section 4 and 5 if the guiding principle and formulae for distribution of all cadre of posts and in appointments into all cadre of posts into the Federal Capital Administration.
“A declaration that the recent appointment on. 23 of November, 2021 of Perm-Secs, executive secretaries and other staffers of FCTA by 1st to 3rd defendants clearly offends sections 4(1)(a)(b) and 5 of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc) and provisions of Part 1, sections 1 to 9 and Part III, section 4 and 5 of the guiding principle and formulae for distribution of all cadre of posts made pursuant to section 4(1)(a) of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, Etc) Act and accordingly the said appointments are void”.
In a 20-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the plaintiff, he said recently, the FCT Minister in conjunction with other defendants appointed political, ministerial and other staffers of FCTA against the Federal Character principle.
He alleged that the appointments as done by the FCT Minister favoured people who are mostly from the northern part of the country.
No date has been fixed for the hearing of the suit which was filed today, December 1, 2021.
Recall that on 22nd November, the FCTA announced a list of appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari, based on the recommendation of the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello.
The appointment of Mandate Secretaries, Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Heads of Agencies and others into relevant positions in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) were as follows:
MANDATE SECRETARIES AND HEADS OF AGENCIES AND DEPARTMENTS
▪︎ Ibrahim Abubakar Dantsoho, Secretary, Area Council Services Secretariat
▪︎Abubakar Ibrahim, Secretary, Agricultural & Rural Development Secretariat
▪︎Sani Dahir El-Katazu, Secretary, Education
▪︎ Dr. Abubakar Tafida, Secretary, Health & Human Services Secretariat
▪︎ Muhammad B. Umar, Secretary, Legal Services Secretariat
▪︎ Hadiza Mahammed Kabir, Secretary, Social Development Secretariat
▪︎ Zakari Angulu Dobi, Secretary, Transportation Secretariat
▪︎ Agboola Lukman Dabiri, Secretary, Economic Planning, Revenue Generation and PPP
▪︎ Obinna Francis Ogwuegbu, Coordinator, Satellite Towns Development. Department
▪︎ Umar Shuaibu, Coordinator, Abuja Metropolitan Management Council
▪︎ Engr. Shehu Hadi Ahmed, Executive Secretary, FCDA
▪︎ Ibrahim Damisa, MD, Abuja Broadcasting Corporation
▪︎ Dr. Muhammed B. Kawu, General Manager, Hospital Management Board
Those appointed in the Office of the Minister are as follows:
▪︎ Mohammed Bashir Mai-Bornu, Chief of Staff
▪︎ Abubakar Sani, Senior Special Assistant (Media)
▪︎ Abuzarri Suleiman Ribadu, Senior Special Assistant (Special Duties)
▪︎ Imolehin Akintunde Babatope, Senior Special Assistant (Environment & Waste Management.)
▪︎ Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant (Monitoring, Inspection & Enforcement)
▪︎ Ibrahim Ismaila, Senior Special Assistant (Lands, Urban & Regional Planning)
▪︎ Isiyaku Tanko Yamawo, Senior Special Assistant (Community Relations)
▪︎ Abu Salihu Muhammed, Senior Special Assistant (Security)
▪︎ Barr. Lawal Yusuf, Senior Special Assistant (legal & Multi-lateral Cooperation)
▪︎ Dr. Ejike Oji, Senior Special Assistant (Health & Hospital Management)
▪︎ Chika Alexander Nwatu, Senior Special Assistant (Community Relations)
▪︎ Ardo Hassan JIbo, Special Assistant (Community Relations)
▪︎ Abdullahi Danladi Galadima, Special Assistant (Community Relations)
▪︎ Musa Dikko Bwari, Special Assistant (Community Relations)
▪︎ Barr. Zainab Marwa Abubakar, Special Assistant (Community Relations)
▪︎ Hailmary Ogolo Aipoh, Special Assistant (Community Relations)
▪︎ Isaac David, Special Assistant (Youth Matters)
In the Office of the Minister of State, the following were appointed:
▪︎ Prof. M. T Usman, Senior Special Assistant (Administration)
▪︎ Barr. Muhammad S. Sidi Aliyu, Special Assistant (Project Implementation/ General Services)
▪︎ Alh. Abubakar Ibrahim, Special Assistant (Special Duties)
▪︎ Mrs. Atika Ajanah, Special Assistant (Logistics & Communication)
▪︎ Mal. Ibrahim Yahaya, Special Assistant (Religious Affairs)
▪︎ Alh. Muhammad Saba, Special Assistant (Area Councils)
▪︎ Abdul Agbadu, Special Assistant (Agriculture and Rural Development)
▪︎ Mr Austine Elemue, Special Assistant (Media)
▪︎ Mrs. Simisola Ayoade, Special Assistant (Social Development Services)
▪︎ Abdulmalik Baba Ajanah, Principal Private Secretary
A statement from the Minister’s office noted that twenty-six (26) of the appointees were new, while the Fourteen (14) earlier appointed by the FCTA were ratified by Mr. President.