For allegedly violating the federal character principle in the appointment of key and strategic security, intelligence and law enforcement chiefs, a rights activist and lawyer, Mr Francis Moneke has sued President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami before a Federal High Court, Abuja.
Moneke, through his counsel, Mr Ikenna Okoli, is contending that the pattern of appointments of key and strategic security, intelligence and law enforcement office holders, clearly shows favouritism and nepotism on the part of the 1st respondent in favour of the people from the Northern part of the country where he comes from.
The plaintiff said: “It is obvious to me that as a citizen of this country, I am at a disadvantage in getting any benefit or official appointment, especially a security or law enforcement appointment, in the Federal Government, owing to this manifest inclination of the 1st respondent towards favouring people from the North in that regard.
“I am aware that nepotism and tribalism are species of corruption, which jeopardizes fairness, objectivity and equity and that when employed as an official strategy in government it compromises inclusivity, effectiveness, efficiency, professionalism, competence, the spirit of national unity and sense of belonging,” he averred.
He is consequently asking the court to declare that the 1st respondent, in making appointments into key security and law enforcement chiefs and positions in Nigeria, is obligated to comply with the Constitution by ensuring that as far as possible, all regions/geopolitical zones are represented and that no region/geopolitical zone is patently discriminated against.
The applicant wants the court to declare that the people of the Southeast are bonafide citizens of Nigeria and cannot be subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria from the Northern part of the country are not subjected to.
Furthermore, it is unconstitutional for persons from the Northern part of the country to be accorded special privilege or advantage, which the applicant and other people from the Southern part of the country, especially the Southeast, are not accorded.