Olisa Agbakoba, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN) has filed an application before the Federal High Court in Abuja seeking to restrain President Muhammadu Buhari from continuing in his dual capacity as President and Minister of Petroleum Resources.
Agbakoba said sections of the Constitution forbid the President from “holding any other executive office or paid employment”.
Among his prayers, Agbakoba wants the court to determine “whether, by virtue of Section 147(2) of the 1999 Constitution, the President can hold the office of the Minister of Petroleum Resources, without confirmation by the Senate of the National Assembly”.
“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,” Agbakoba stated in a 14-page affidavit he deposed to.
“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.”
Agbakoba also said that the recent management crisis between Ibe Kachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, and Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, “could not have occurred if the President was not also the Minister of Petroleum Resources”.
“I am aware that the NNPC provides up to 90 percent of the revenue accruing to Nigeria,” he stated.
“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).”