Alleged Marginalisation: Court to Hear Women Group’s Suit against Buhari, Malami

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A Federal High Court in Abuja would hear arguments from lawyers on September 29 in a suit seeking to redress an alleged marginalisation of women in the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration.

Justice Donatus Okorowo, adjourned for argument after parties in the matter regularised their processes.

The plaintiffs in the matter are the Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA) Initiative, the Women Trust Fund (WTF), the Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD), the West Africa Women Advocates Research and Documentary Centre (WARDC), the Vision Spring Initiative (VSI) and the Women in Politics in Nigeria (WPIN), while the respondents are President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN.

When the matter came up yesterday, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Mr. Marshall Abubakar, prayed the court for leave to amend his processes and deem the said processes properly filed and served on all parties.

Similarly, counsel to Buhari and Malami, Mrs. Ibukun Okoosi, prayed the court for leave to file her counter affidavit and deem same properly filed and served.

The judge granted both prayers and subsequently adjourned the matter until September 29 for arguments.

The women are seeking for statutory and constitutional rights of the female gender in Nigeria.

The gender rights advocates alleged that the rights of women have been consistently violated over the years by subsequent administrations.

They argued that the refusal of the federal government to implement the 35 per cent affirmative action policy was unlawful and an arbitrary violation of the National Gender Policy 2006, Sections 42, 147 (3) and 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution.

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The plaintiffs also claimed that the government’s action violated Articles 2, 13 (2) and (3) and Article 19 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights.

They further argued that the overwhelmingly predominant appointment of the male gender into decision making positions of the federation was wrong, unlawful and unconstitutional.

They are seeking among others, an order restraining the president from further exercising the constitutional and statutory powers of appointment in a manner violating the 35 per cent affirmative action policy of the federal government.

Thisday

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