Olisa Agbakoba sues FG over NNPC Board “lopsided appointments”

Dr Olisa Agbakoba SAN has sued the Federal Government over what he described as “lopsided appointments” at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC.

The Former President of Nigerian Bar Association filed a suit at the federal high court in Abuja to challenge the non-inclusion of the south-east zone in appointments to the board of the NNPC.

In the suit, he challenged the non-inclusion of the South East of the country in appointments to the NNPC Board. The legal practitioner alleged that the appointment made by the Federal Government contravened the provisions of Section 14 of the Constitution, as well as the Federal Character Commission Act.
He stated that it was also in contravention of the “provisions of Sections 42 of the Constitution of Nigeria that prohibits discrimination of any of Nigeria’s ethnic groups such as, in this case, the South East.” Agbakoba requested the court to declare the “lopsided appointments” of board members of the South East region unconstitutional, null and void.

In a statement issued on Monday, Agbakoba said the reason for the action was that the federal government had always discriminated against Nigerians indigenous to the states in the south-east zone in appointments to the board of the NNPC.

“One of the instances of discrimination of that on 5 July 2016, the federal government of Nigeria appointed the following persons as members of the board of the 2nd respondent (NNPC): Dr Tajuddeen Umar (north-east), Dr Maikanti Baru (north-east), Mr Abba Kyari (north-east); Mr Mahmoud Isa-Dutse (north-central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal; Mallam Yusuf Lawal; Dr Emmanuel IbeKachikwu (south-south); Dr Thomas MA John (south-south), and Dr Pius O Akinyelure (south-west),” he said in the suit.

“None of these persons appointed to fill the nine positions are from the states comprising the south-east geopolitical zone, while more than one person were appointed from some of the geopolitical zones.

Agbakoba requested the court to declare the “lopsided appointments” of board members of the South-East region unconstitutional, null and void. No date has been fixed to hear the suit.

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