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Adegboruwa urges court to declare Zakari’s appointment illegal

Adegboruwa-1A LAGOS lawyer and human rights crusader, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has filed an action at the Federal High Court, Lagos, urging the court to declare the appointment of the acting chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mrs. Amina Bala Zakari, as illegal and unconstitutional.

The lawyer in the suit marked as No. FHC/L/CS/1114/2015 is also praying the court to order her to vacate office immediately and for the court to restrain her from presiding over the conduct of any election in Nigeria, including the governorship elections of Kogi and Bayelsa states.

The applicant said on July 21, 2015, the statutory tenure of Mrs. Zakari as a member or commissioner of INEC came to an end and that she has not been re-appointed by the President upon due consultation with the Council of State and that such re-appointment has not been communicated to the Senate for confirmation, adding: “Consequently therefore, the presence of Mrs. Zakari in INEC is a constitutional aberration that must not be allowed to continue.”

He prayed as follows: “A declaration that the first respondent is not entitled to appoint the fourth respondent as acting chairman of the third respondent, such appointment being illegal, unconstitutional, null and void. A declaration that the appointment of the fourth respondent as acting chairman of the third respondent is unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

“A declaration that effective July 21, 2015, the fourth respondent has ceased to be a national commissioner or a member of the third respondent cannot be appointed as chairman or acting chairman of the third respondent.”

Consequently, the applicant, who is praying for an order ‘nullifying the appointment of the fourth respondent, by the first respondent, as the acting chairman of the third respondent, being in flagrant violation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as well as an order directing the fourth respondent to forthwith vacate office as acting chairman of the third respondent, also filed an application for an order of interlocutory injunction to restrain Mrs. Zakari from parading herself as acting chairman or member of INEC.

The motion is supported by a 36-paragraph affidavit in support of the application or injunction. In it, he stated that Mrs. Zakari is not qualified to claim to be acting chairman of INEC as she was not appointed in line with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution.

“In particular, it is being contended that her stay in INEC expired on July 21, 2015 and same cannot renewed by the President via a letter without consultation with the Council of State and without confirmation by the Senate.

“Furthermore, it is also being contended that Mrs. Zakari cannot properly exercise an independent mind or judgment, given her affinity with the President and the Governor of Kaduna State, both of whom she had worked closely and shared very intimate relations to the extent that they could influence her decisions”, he averred.

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