Declare Buhari’s position as minister of petroleum unlawful, lawyer prays court
A constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Festus Ogun, has sued President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal High Court, Lagos, praying the court to declare his self-appointment as minister of petroleum unlawful.
Joined in the suit are the Attorney-General of the Federation and National Assembly as second and third defendants, respectively.
The applicant urged the court to so declare because his role as the President and Minister, at the same time, allegedly violates the provisions of Sections 138 and 147(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as altered).
The applicant is praying the court to declare that the 1st defendant’s appointment and continue serving as Minister of Petroleum Resources is a gross violation of Sections 138 and 147(2) of the Constitution, and therefore, unconstitutional, wrongful, undemocratic, invalid, ultra vires and null and void.
He also prayed the court for an order restraining the 1st defendant from serving or parading himself as the Minister of Petroleum Resources.
In a 22 paragraph affidavit deposed to by Ogun, he affirmed that on or about August 21, 2019, the 1st defendant appointed himself as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, a position he had held about four years earlier.
“Despite the glaring provision of Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution disqualifying the 1st defendant from serving as Minister of Petroleum Resources, he has retained and continued to serve in the position,” he deposed.
He also noted that contrary to the provision of Section 147 (2) of the 1999 Constitution, the 1st defendant’s position as the Minister of Petroleum Resources was not confirmed by the 3rd defendant (the Senate).
According to Ogun, the gross inefficiency in the management of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources where the 1st defendant serves as the Minister of Petroleum Resources is the cause of the fuel scarcity because it is near impossibility for the 1st defendant to serve as the Minister and President contemporaneously.
No date has been fixed for a hearing yet.