An Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Ezinwa Ukoha, has asked the Federal High Court in Abuja to compel the Senate to reject the nomination of Funso Doherty or any other person not from the South-East geo-political zone to succeed Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu as the Director General of the National Pension Commission.
Ukoha made this prayer, among others, in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/530//2017, which he filed on June 15, 2017
The defendants in the suit are President Muhammadu Buhari, acting President Yemi Osinbajo, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami; the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, the Senate, and the Clerk of the National Assembly.
The plaintiff also prayed the court to compel Buhari and Osinbajo to comply with the provisions of section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, in the appointment and removal of the Director General of the National Pension Commission.
He quoted the provisions of section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, as stating that “in the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint replacement from the geo-political zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.”
The lawyer, in the suit, contended that by virtue of section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, neither Buhari nor Osinbajo could nominate another person to replace the recently removed DG of Pencom, Anohu-Amazu, except the nominee was from the same South-East zone as Anohu-Amazu.
Ukoha, in a supporting affidavit, stated, “That I have carefully read the National Pension Commission Act 2014, and I have noted particularly the provision of section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the Act with respect to the appointment and removal of the Director General of the commission.
“That Mrs. Chinelo Anohu-Amazu, who comes from the South-East geo-political zone, was the Director General of the National Pension Commission before she was removed from the office by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria when she had served the nation as the Director General for barely two years.”
He contended that with about three years left in Anohu-Amazu’s five-year tenure by the time she was removed as the Pencom’s DG, her replacement ought to have been appointed from the South-East zone.
He stated that instead of nominating somebody from the South-East zone, Buhari initially nominated Mr. Dikko Abdulrahman from the North-West zone as Amazu’s replacement.
He added that “while the nomination of Mr. Dikko Abdulrahman was still pending with the 5th defendant (the Senate) for confirmation, the second defendant, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, withdrew the nomination of Mr. Dikko Abdulrahman, and replaced same with the nomination of Mr. Funso Doherty.”