Sixteen elder statesmen and leaders of socio-cultural groups in the southern region of Nigeria, on Monday, dragged President Muhammadu Buhari before the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleging that most appointments since the inception of his administration in 2015 were in breach of the 1999 Constitution and the Federal Character Principle.
The plaintiffs, led by Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Dr John Nnia Nwodo, Dr Pogu Bittus, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alaowei Bozimo, Mrs Sarah Doketri, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Air Commodore Idongsit Nkanga, alleged that the Southern region had been deliberately marginalized by the President Buhari-led government.
They are also praying the court to, among other things, determine whether it was not “reckless and adverse to the interest of Nigeria”, for President 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 the bulk of the fund to the Northern region.
They are seeking a declaration that the loan facility purportedly for infrastructural development (wherein less than 1% of the amount is to be allocated to the South East Zone of Nigeria for specific infrastructural development) violates section 16 (1) (a) (b) and S16 (2) (a) (b) (c) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
They urged the court to award N50billion against the defendants to represent punitive, aggravated and exemplary damages to the constituents of the plaintiffs for the illegal, wrongful discriminatory and unconstitutional acts committed by the 1st defendant against the people of the plaintiffs’ states and geopolitical zones.
Meanwhile, Justice Okon Abang has fixed July 10 to hear the case, even as he directed Chief Ozekhome (SAN), who represented the plaintiffs on Monday, to serve the court processes on all the defendants.