President Muhammadu Buhari has been dragged to court by an Enugu-based activist, Ifeanyichukwu Okonkwo who filed a suit at the Federal High Court Umuahia, Abia state challenging the appointment of Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd) as the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Okonkwo joined Ali and the Attorney General of the Federation in the suit, even as he is seeking the court's interpretation of Sections 5(1), 147(1), 148, 151 and 171(1) of the 1999 constitution and the Custom and Excise Management Act, 2004.
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According to Vanguard, he asked the court to declare that the appointment of Ali violated 5(1), 147(1), 148, 151 and 171(1) of the 1999 constitution and the breach of the president's oath of office.
Furthermore, he requested for “a declaration that as at 27th of August 2015, when the President purportedly appointed the Col. Ali (rtd) Comptroller-General of the NCS; the President breached the statutory mandatory provision in section 147(1) of the 1999 constitution; having not appointed Minister of Finance, the 2nd defendant.
“A declaration that the appointment of Col. Ali (rtd) as the Comptroller-General of the NCS is not supported by any iota of law, and a clear violation of the Public Service Rules application to the NCS. A declaration that there is no enabling law made by the national Assembly as the authority for the appointment of Col. Ali (rtd) as the new Comptroller-General, NCS, his appointment by President Buhari is unconstitutional, null and void”.
He also said the appointment was without due regard to Nigeria's civil service rules, adding that that an appointment to the said “shall not be made except with the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, and among Deputy Controller-Generals, Assistant Controller-Generals and or Controllers in the Service.
“The appointment was not in response to advertised vacancy, therefore the said appointment is of no legal consequence and as a retired Colonel in the Nigerian Army above 60yrs of age, a pensioner, he is not eligible for appointment into the federal civil service regarding the Nigeria Customs Service,” he concluded.
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Meanwhile, President Buhari has commenced a new investigation into all equipment and other logistics bought by the Nigerian Army from 2010 to 2015.