Lawyer files N20b suit against FG for allegedly excluding South East in loan distribution
More trouble for federal government and her agencies as Lagos based human rights lawyer, Joe Nwokedi files N20 billion suit at the federal high court, Lagos against them for excluding South-East Geopolitical Zone from $22.7 billion loan distribution.
Just recently, 16 elder statesmen and leaders of socio-cultural groups in the southern region of Nigeria sued President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal High Court in Abuja, alleging that most of his appointments since the inception of his administration in 2015 were in breach of the 1999 Constitution and the federal character principle.
The applicants, led by Chief Edwin Clark, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, Dr John Nnia Nwodo, Dr Pogu Bittus, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, Alaowei Bozimo, Mrs Sarah Doketri, Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife and Air Commodore Idongsit Nkanga, alleged that the government had deliberately marginalized the Southern region.
In the instant case, Nwokedi said it is unjust and unconstitutional for the federal government to exclude the South East Geopolitical Zone from its 22.7 Billion loan, which the House of Representatives finally approved recently, after similar approval from the Senate.
The exclusion generated and attracted huge public outcry and condemnation from well meaning Nigerians, especially people of South East Geopolitical Zone extraction, including members of National Assembly from the Zone.
All projects upon which the loan would be executed excluded those in the South East Geopolitical Zone. In view of the perceived injustice against the region, Nwokedi therefore approached the Federal High court, to challenge the actioAlso joined in the suit are National Assembly, Central Bank of Nigeria, Federal Character Commission and the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice.
The applicant prayed the court to award the sum of N20 billion only as general and aggravated damages suffered by himself and the People of South East Geopolitical Zone, inclusive of other reliefs sought in the suit.
The matter has been assigned to Justice Ayokunle Faji and has been adjourned to September 16, 2020 for hearing. Meanwhile, the applicant has written to the court for abridgement of the date due to the urgency involved in the matter.