A HUMAN rights activist and a legal practitioner, Festus Ogun has filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari, asking the court to declare his position as Minister of Petroleum Resources unconstitutional.
Ogun disclosed this in a tweet on Monday.
According to him, Buhari’s occupation of the office of Minister of Petroleum Resources has caused instability and inefficiency in the petroleum sector.
Ogun said the situation has caused him personal hardship and harmed his business.
The suit followed the nationwide fuel scarcity in February.
In the suit numbered FHC/L/CS/743/22 filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos, Ogun asked the court to declare Buhari’s continuous position as Minister of Petroleum Resources as a gross misconduct and slap on Nigeria’s Constitution.
He also asked the court to restrain Buhari from from holding any ministerial position, and also to stop him from parading himself as the Minister of Petroleum Resources
The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the National House of Assembly were joined as defendants in the suit.
In a statement made available to The ICIR on Monday, Ogun said, “I have just filed a lawsuit against President Muhammadu Buhari at the Federal High Court in Lagos over the excessive pain, hardship and agony Nigerians went through as a result of the fuel scarcity experienced earlier this year.
“I solemnly believe that the gross inefficiency and mismanagement in the petroleum sector, that led to the fuel scarcity, is avoidable if the President was not holding the dual position of Petroleum Minister in violation of Section 138 of the 1999 Constitution.
“I believe that the President’s continuous serving as Petroleum Minister is not only illegal and unconstitutional, it is inimical to our economic growth and likely to cause future scarcity and inefficiency that will affect the country and its good people.”
He added that it was practically and legally impossible for Buhari to hold his elected position, which comes with enormous responsibilities, contemporaneously with the position of Petroleum Minister.
Noting that “It has no basis in law, logic and politics,” Ogun added, “If Nigerians suffered that heavily during the fuel scarcity, the President must be answerable for it. There must be consequences. And as a citizen of this country, I believe we must avert a reoccurrence; whether under this regime or in future administrations.”
Usman Mustapha is a solution journalist with International Centre for Investigative Reporting. You can easily reach him via; email@example.com. He tweets @UsmanMustapha_M