Olisa Agbakoba, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), has asked a federal high court in Abuja to remove President Muhammadu Buhari as petroleum minister.
Buhari appointed Ibe Kachikwu as minister of state for petroleum resources, and made himself the senior minister.
In a suit which the attorney-general of the federation is listed as a respondent, Agbakoba asked the court to determine if Buhari could hold the position of minister without the confirmation of the national assembly.
He said the chaos at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) would not have happened if the president was not petroleum minister.
“I verily believe that the governance chaos in the NNPC could not have occurred if the president is not also the minister of petroleum resources,” he said.
“I am aware that the NNPC provides up to 90 percent of the revenue accruing to Nigeria.
“I am worried that the crisis in the NNPC will greatly reduce Nigeria’s revenue-generating capacity and will affect the revenue distributable to federal, state and local governments in Nigeria. This will gravely affect development nationwide and drastically impact one and all Nigerians including those in Anambra state (my state of origin) and Lagos state (my state of residence).
“I looked at section 138 of the 1999 constitution and I verily believe it disqualifies the president from holding executive office including that of the minister of petroleum, during his tenure of office as president.
“I also know that the president did not go through nomination process and confirmation by the senate, before holding the office of minister of petroleum resources
“I again looked at section 147(2) of the 1999 constitution and I verily believe it prohibits anybody from holding the office of a minister of the federation, without confirmation by the senate.”
The case has not been scheduled for hearing.
Agbakoba had also filed a suit against the government challenging the composition of the board of the NNPC at a federal high court in Abuja. He asked the court dissolve the board because it was illegal.
The court is yet to hear the suit as well.
SOURCE: The Cable