Agbakoba sues FG over non inclusion of Igbos on NNPC board

Chidi Samuel || Human right lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN has dragged the federal government to an Abuja High Court for excluding the South East Zone from the Board positions of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporations, NNPC.

In a statement on Monday, Agbakoba said that the recruitment of the Federal government of personnel into the board of the oil corporation contravenes “the provisions of S.14 of the Constitution and also the Federal Character Commission, Act and 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.”

The statement read in part, “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 LawalMallam Yusuf LawalDr Emmanuel IbeKachikwu (south-south)Dr Thomas MA John (south-south), and Dr Pius O Akinyelure (south-west).”

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“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.

The federal government, by the lopsided appointment accords numerical advantage to states in other geopolitical zones, to the detriment of the applicant’s south-east geopolitical zone that is totally excluded from the board of the 2nd respondent.”

The senior advocate of Nigeria is, therefore, praying the court to declare the appointments unconstitutional, null and void.

No date has been fixed for the hearing of the case.