Agbakoba Challenges Buhari’s Legality As Petroleum Minister

DSS, arrest, judges, AgbakobaA former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Olisa Agbakoba, has challenged the constitutionality of President Muhammadu Buhari to hold office as the Minister for Petroleum Resources.

The Commander-in-Chief had in September, 2015 chosen Cabinet Ministers, after which their names were forwarded to the Senate for confirmation. He, however, named himself in charge of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.

But in his originating summons, a copy of which was made available to Channels Television in Lagos on Monday, Mr Agbakoba listed the Minister of Justice/Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami as defendant before a Federal High Court in Abuja.

The lawyer argued that the President was not fit to occupy his position as Petroleum Minister, while still being the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in view of Sections 138 and 147(2) of the constitution.

“By virtue of Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which disqualifies the President of Nigeria from holding any other executive office or paid employment, can the Nigerian President simultaneously serve as Minister of Petroleum Resources, which is an executive office?

“By virtue of Section147 (2) of the 1999 Constitution, if the President is not disqualified, can the President hold the office of Minister of Petroleum Resources, without confirmation by the Senate of the National Assembly,” he questioned.

Although no date has yet been fixed for hearing, the lawyer is hopeful that the court of competent jurisdiction would seek a declaration that Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria disqualifies the President from holding the office of Minister of Petroleum Resources, which is an executive office.

Mr Agbakoba, who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, wants the court upon hearing of his application, to order the President to vacate the office as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Agbakoba Sues FG Over NNPC Board Appointments

Agbakoba Sues FG Over NNPC Appointments
File photo

Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr Olisa Agbakoba, has sued the Federal Government over what he described as “lopsided appointments” at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

According to a statement signed on Monday by his media assistant, Niyi Odunmorayo, Dr Agbakoba made the allegation in a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

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.

No date has been fixed to hear the suit.

Dangote’s committee raises N12 billion for flood victims…gets tax incentives

The Presidential Committee on Flood Relief co-chaired by business mogul, Aliko Dangote and a lawyer, Olisa Agbakoba on Thursday realised about N12 billion in the first round of its fund raising.

The 34-man committee had set N100 billion as its ultimate target.

Both Mr Dangote and the Federal Government donated the sum of N2.5 billion each, making both the highest donors at the event held at the Banquet Hall, State House, Abuja.

The Ministers of Petroleum and Communication Technology pledged to mobilise the IOCs and telecommunications companies respectively, to respond to the donation.

Incentives for donors

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan has announced tax incentives for all corporate organisations that donate into the flood relief fund to alleviate the sufferings of Nigerians who were affected by the recent flooding in the country.

He made the announcement at a fund raising dinner organised by the presidential committee he set up to cater for the needs of the flood victims.

The president also used the opportunity to launch the website for the fund-www.nigeriafloodrelief.org