Court adjourns suit challenging Nigeria’s membership of OIC to September 29
Legal fireworks in a suit challenging Nigeria’s membership of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other international Islamic bodies will resume on September 29, 2016 at the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State.
In suit number FHC/ASB/CS/11/2016, the plaintiff, Dr. Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe is also questioning the decision by the Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari to obtain funds from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to finance the deficits of the 2016 budget.
Presiding Judge, Justice A.O. Faji ordered that hearing notice should be sent to the fifth defendant who was not represented in court yesterday.Joined in the suit by Nwaezeigwe who is suing on behalf of the Nigeria Civil War and Genocide Research Network as second to fifth defendants are: the Attorney-General of the federation, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives and the National Assembly, respectively.
The plaintiff is asking the court to nullify Nigeria’s membership of OIC, Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Against Terrorism, Eight Developing Islamic Countries (D8) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
In the alternative, the plaintiff wants the court to compel the Federal Government and the Attorney-General who are the first and second defendants respectively, to withdraw Nigeria’s membership of the Islamic organisations.
The plaintiff is further seeking an order of injunction restraining the first and second defendants from “entering into any agreement, treaty, charter, in violation of the provision of Section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.’’
The plaintiff is also seeking “an order of injunction restraining the third and fourth defendants from authorizing the 1st and second defendants to issue or obtain any Islamic bond otherwise known as ‘SUKUK’ for the purpose of financing any aspect of the 2016 Appropriation Act and/or budget deficit.
“An order of injunction restraining the defendants particularly the first and second defendants from further enlisting Nigeria into the membership of any organisation meant solely for Islamic countries or any organisation bearing any religious connotation.”
Counsel to the plaintiff, Mr. Solomon Nnadi argued that Nigeria’s continuous membership of OIC and other Islamic organisations is a clear violation of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended which defines Nigeria as a secular state.
He further argued that Islamic bond otherwise known as SUKUK or funds from IDB cannot validly be used to fund the 2016 budget deficit by the Federal Government having regards to the secularity of Nigeria.