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Senate sends strong warning to Buhari on court judgement



Senate sends strong warning to Buhari on court judgement

Muhammadu Buhari

Senate has charged President Muhammadu Buhari to obey the Court of Appeal judgment on the need for an indigene of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, be appointed a minister like indigenes of the 36 states of the Federation.
The appellate court sitting in Abuja had on the strength of litigation brought before it by concerned indigenes of FCT on the need for an indigene to be among the serving Honourable Ministers gave judgment to that effect in  September last year.
Earlier before the Court’s ruling, the FCT representative in the Senate, Senator Philip Aduda had on Tuesday, July 30, 2019 submitted a petition from an indigene, Mr. Ezekiel D. Musa, against refusal of President Buhari to appoint anybody from the Territory as a minister.
Subsequently, the Senate considered the petition by forwarding it to its Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions for required legislative action.
The committee in its report submitted by Senator Ayo Akinyelure (PDP Ondo Central), recommended that based on the decisions of the Court of Appeal and the Constitutional provisions of Sections 299 and 147(3), indigenes of FCT be granted approval by Mr President to be represented in the Federal Executive Council, FEC as minister.
In approving the recommendation after exhaustive debate by Senators, the upper legislative chamber through an amended prayer, resolved thus: “Senate notes the ruling of the Court of Appeal, Abuja in respect of appointment of a Minister from the Federal Capital Territory and refer same to the Executive for Consideration.”
Even when the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South), jokingly said that the Senate by the resolution has put on hold appointment of anybody from FCT as minister, President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan quickly interjected to say no.
Lawan in its clarification said what the Senate resolved on the matter in the light of the petition and recommendation made by its committee and ruling made by Appeal Court last year, was that the judgment given should be considered by the executive as far as the subject matter is concerned.
It would be recalled that attempt made by the federal government to appeal the judgment in the Supreme Court was protested against by indigenes of the Territory.
The  natives under the umbrella of Coalition of Abuja Indigenous Association, COAIA, addressed a press conference in Abuja on October 1, 2019 where  the Assistant Coordinator of the Coalition, Comrade Ezekiel Dalhatu, said the move by the federal government was an act against the original inhabitants of the FCT and urged Nigerians and the international community to intervene.
They lamented that  the natives have in the last 40 years been suffering government’s neglect and intimidation ranging from forceful eviction of the natives from their ancestral homes with no replacement or compensation without anybody to fight for them at the Federal Executive Council level
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