A civil rights group, on Tuesday, approached the Federal High Court in Abuja to challenge the appointment of the Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, who recently confirmed that she is a serving National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member.
The suit (FHC/ABJ/CS/1198) was filed by civil rights groups known as Concerned Nigerians, Chief Patrick Eholor, and Thomas Markus.
The respondents in the case are the President of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, and Hannatu Musawa.
The Plaintiffs argued that the NYSC Act prohibits youth corps members from engaging in partisan politics.
The Plaintiffs, through their lawyer, Ihensekhien Samuel Jnr., are asking the court to determine “Whether by provisions of section 2 (1) and (3) of the National Youth Service Corps Act and Section 4(9) of the NYSC Bye-laws (revised 2011), the 3rd Defendant, being a current NYSC member, is not prohibited from becoming a Federal Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Whether by the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, whether the same qualification of a federal member of the House of Representatives is not also the same qualification for the appointment of the 3rd Defendant as a Federal Minister and whether same qualification is not mandatory for the 3rd Defendant to be a Federal Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Upon determination of the legal issues, the Plaintiffs are seeking five principal reliefs from the court, including an order “nullifying the initial recommendation, resolution to be a minister, appointment and swearing in of the 3rd Defendant as a Federal Minister of Nigeria.
”An order setting aside the swearing-in of the 3rd Defendant in this regard. And An order for a mandatory injunction setting aside all official actions as may be carried out by the 3rd Defendant acting in an official capacity from the commencement of and swearing in of the 3rd Defendant to the final conclusion of this suit.”
They asked the Court to award the sum of N 100 Million against the Defendants as general damages, while they demanded N1m to cover the cost of the litigation.
Although, a statement signed by the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation (FMINO) spokesperson, Suleiman Haruna, confirming that Musawa is currently observing the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme has been published in various media, the Minister maintained that she has not released any official statement regarding her being an NYSC Corp member.
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