Buhari’s appointments lack equity, SERAP charges presidency over judgements on electricity contracts

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) yesterday berated President Muhammadu Buhari for what it described as lopsidedness in appointments into federal positions, insisting that the process lacked diversity.

President of CBCN, Reverend (Dr,) Augustine Akubeze who spoke at the opening ceremony of the second plenary of the CBCN, lamented that the development had become a major concern to Nigerians.

Akubeze, who is also Archbishop of Benin City, Edo State, expressed the need for government to work on integration of all parts of the country into sensitive positions at the federal level.He said Nigerians rejected minimal approach on the issue of appointments and therefore called for equity in the process at all government agencies.

“We have heard the government say that they have fulfilled the constitutional requirements of appointing at least a minister from each state of the federation. This is a minimal approach and does not fulfill the spirit of total integration of all Nigerians.

“No federal agency should be dominated by one ethnic group or one religious group. Nigeria belongs to all of us. As such, we must not allow cultural or religious hegemony in a constitutional and secular state like Nigeria. If we allow it, I assure you that will be a recipe for disaster, “ Akubeze added.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abukabar Malami to advise President Muhammadu Buhari to obey judgement on electricity contractors since 1999.

SERAP also charged Malami to use his “special role as the country’s chief law officer” to persuade the President to fully and effectively enforce the judgment by ordering the release of details of payments as they relate to the contracts.

Justice Chuka Obiozor, sitting at the Federal High Court, Lagos, had in July delivered a judgment in a Freedom of Information (FoI) suit marked FHC/L/CS/105/19, brought by SERAP, ordering the Federal Government to disclose and publish names of companies and whereabouts of contractors paid by successive governments to carry out electricity projects but failed to execute the projects.”

In an open letter dated September 13, 2019 and signed by SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “The enforcement of the judgment will be a special moment for Federal Government’s anti-corruption crusade and sovereignty of rule of law, as it would go a long way in protecting the integrity of the nation’s legal system.