DIEZANI'S BREACH OF NYSC PROVISION: OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT
DIEZANI’S BREACH OF NYSC PROVISION: OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT
03 July 2011
Federal Republic of Nigeria
Federal Capital Territory.
Re: Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/614.2001
1. Makelemi Erhuvwuvotu
2. Afri Network For Environment and Economic Justice Limited
1. Mrs Diezani Allison –Madueke
2. The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
3. The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
4. The Attorney General of the Federation
5. The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
On the 28th day of June 2011 we filed the afore captioned Suit at the Federal High Court Abuja. The Suit seeks to restrain Your Excellency from employing Mrs. Diezani Allison–Madueke as a Minister of the Federal Government of Nigeria in breach of the mandatory provisions of the law, to wit the National Youth Service Corps Act. We contend and are ready to prove in a court of law that Mrs. Diezani Allison–Madueke committed a grave offence when she refused to undergo the mandatory National Service following her graduation from University.
Sir, in the light of the recent slaying of Youth Corpers who paid the ultimate sacrifice in furtherance of the development of our nascent democracy, there is no good or just reason why Mrs. Diezani Allison –Madueke should be allowed to benefit to the detriment of those that have dutifully served our father land.
The records will show that the Originating Summons and a motion for injunction filed in Court was duly served by the court bailiff on your Excellency, the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation on the 30th day of June 2011. Regrettably, the Court bailiff has been unable to effect service of the processes on Mrs. Diezani Allison –Madueke due to the deliberate restrictions put up at her residence. She will in due course be served expeditiously by substituted means. By the motion for injunction, we are asking the Court to inter alia, restrain the swearing in and employment of Mrs. Diezani Allison –Madueke as a Federal Minister until the decision of the court on the very substantial issues brought before it.
Your Excellency, we are advised by counsel that service of the court processes on you is of major legal consequence. We understand that the highest Court in the land did pronounce in the case of Ojukwu v Gov of Lagos State (Reported 1985) that after a Defendant has been served with a court process seeking an injunction against him, such Defendant must refrain from proceeding with the action (albeit an injunction be not granted) which is being sought to be restrained. The law frowns at any conduct which will prejudice the determination or outcome of court proceedings.
It was therefore with great shock and astonishment that we received the news that despite the fact of your clear knowledge of the pendency of Court proceedings, Your Excellency nevertheless proceeded to swear in Mrs Allison-Madueke as a Federal Minister on Saturday the 2nd day of July 2011. The conduct of Your Excellency has the effect of pre-empting the outcome of proceedings and constitutes an affront to the integrity of the Court seised of the matter.
Indeed the law goes as far as to characterize your action as amounting to a contempt of court, something no responsible Government should be accused of. We hasten to mirror you words at the book launch of “The Fight against Corruption: Rule of Law will succeed” by Mr John Ulu Jnr in February 2011 where Your Excellency said:
“Really, in a democratic setting, the fight against corruption can only be fought with the machinery of the rule of law. To contemplate anything else is tantamount to throwing the door open to a system where the whim and caprices of individuals will determine the fate of citizens; a system where might will be right. Such a system has no place in a contemporary civilized society……….As I stand here today, I am proud to be counted as a purveyor of the rule of law, just like my predecessor…” [emphasis added].
We also refer to the statement that Your Excellency posted on your Facebook page on the 13th day of June 2011 where you stated thus:
“ As this administration ensured that the INEC is independent and seen to be so, we have ensured that law enforcement agencies are independent. Furthermore, I insisted that we obeyed EVERY court order since we came into being, proving that the Rule of Law as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution as amended in the 1999 Constitution as amended is the Eountain of Origin of this administration and you can take that to the Bank” [emphasis added]
Finally, we shall leave Your Excellency with the words of the Obaseki JSC (formerly Justice of Supreme Court) again in the case of Gov of Lagos State vs Ojukwu. He said:
“In the area where rule of law operates, the rule of self help by force is abandoned. Nigeria being one of the countries in the world, even the third world which proclaimed loudly to follow the rule of law, there is no room for the rule of self help by force to operate. Once a dispute has arisen between a person and the government or authority and the dispute has been brought before the court, thereby invoking the judicial power of the state, it is the duty of the government to allow the law to take its course or allow the legal and judicial process to run its full course. The action of the Lags State government took can have no other interpretation than the show of the intention to pre-empt the decision of the court”. [emphasis added].
By swearing in Mrs. Diezani Allison –Madueke as a Federal Minister in the face of our pending application for injunction at the Federal High Court and despite your avowed commitment to the Rule of Law, Your Excellency has pre-empted the decision of the Federal High Court on the motion for injunction and thereby sent a clear and unmistakable message that : “it will be business as usual”. Regardless of the actions of Your Excellency, we shall continue with our struggle to ensure that justice is done at the end of the day.
Afri Network For Environment
and Economic Justice ( ANEEJ).