NASS leadership: APC dragged to court over decision to exclude South-East

National Assembly

The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has been dragged to a Federal High Court in Abuja by an advocacy group under the aegis of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, over the ruling party’s decision to zone the leadership of the National Assembly in a manner that would exclude the South-East region of the country.

The group, alongside a member of the ruling party, Hon. Kenneth Uzochukwu, who was cited as the 2nd Plaintiff, in an originating summons marked as FHC/ABJ/CS/477/2019, posed three legal questions for the determination of the court.

They equally sought for six declarations. Cited as defendants in the matter were the APC, the National Assembly and the Federal Character Commission.

Specifically, the plaintiffs, through their lawyer, Okere Nnamdi, are praying the court to determine: “Whether the 1st Defendant (APC), can ignore the express provisions of Section 224 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in zoning/determining which of the six geo-political zones in Nigeria (recognized in the Federal Character Establishment Act) produces the presiding and principal officers of the 9th National Assembly comprising of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

“Whether the decision of the 1st defendant to zone/cede the office of the Senate President to the North East, Deputy Senate President to South-South; and Speaker of the House of Representatives to the South west and Deputy Speaker to North Central and thereby totally excluding/obliterating/annihilating the South east geo-political zone in the political arithmetic of Nigeria, particularly in the 9th National Assembly breaches the express provisions, spirit and tenor of sections 14 (3) and (4) and 244 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); AND complies with the Federal Character principle of Nigeria.

“Whether in view of the combined reading of Section 1 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 2 of the Constitution of the All Progressives Congress 2014 (as amended), the National Executive Committee or the National Working Committee of the 1st Defendant can take any decision to zone principal and presiding officers of the National Assembly of Nigeria in a manner that offends the express provisions, sprit and tenor of sections 14 (3) and (4) and 224 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended); by subjecting the Igbos of South-east Nigeria to discrimination, marginalization, humiliation, domination, suppression, hatred and inequality in Nigeria.”