Court declines request to stop Buhari from inaugurating ministers

Firm sues presidential panel over seized Abuja propertyFederal High Court in Abuja has rejected the request to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari from inaugurating the ministerial nominees recently cleared by the Senate.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a ruling on Monday, dismissed an ex-parte application file by a lawyer, Musa Baba-panya.

Justice Taiwo said he will prefer to hear the substantive suit and give a formal judgment rather than granting interim restraining orders as sought by the plaintiff.

The judge ordered the plaintiff to effect personal service of the originating and other processes so far filed in the case on the defendants and return for a date for hearing.

The plaintiff’s contention is to the effect that the President’s non-nomination of an Abuja indigene as a ministerial nominee was a disobedience of a subsisting judgment of the Court of Appeal.

Baba-Panya claimed that the Court of Appeal, in the judgment delivered on March 15, 2018 in Abuja, held among others, that Abuja possesses the status of a state and should be so treated.

To the plaintiff, since the Constitution stipulates that every state of the federation should produce a minister, Abuja deserves to also be considered.

President Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) are listed as defendants in the case marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/878/19.

Baba-panya, who said he is an indigene of Karu in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT),  argued that the subsisting decision of the Court of Appeal contains a compelling order.

He said the Court of Appeal has been  served on the President through the AGF, who did not take steps to appeal it.

The plaintiff, in the substantive suit, wants the court to, among others, that ”the 43 confirmed ministerial appointees now awaiting swearing-in or inauguration as the Federal Executive Council is incomplete, illegal, unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.”

He is also praying the court to declare the 1st defendant (the President) stands in contempt of law and court for his brazen refusal to comply with the tenor of the Abuja Division of Court of Appeal’s judgment, compelling him to the immediate and forthwith appointment off an indigene of FCT, Abuja as minister of the federation.”

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