For reportedly being his wife’s elder brother, the Human Rights Writers Association Of Nigeria (HURIWA) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to revoke the appointment of Ahmed Halilu as Managing Director of Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company (NSPMC) Plc for alleged constitutional breach.
Contending that the action contravenes the oath of office taken by the President in a statement, issued yesterday, by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, HURIWA said in as much as it is not in doubt whether Halilu is competent or qualified to so hold such an esteemed and professionally inclined position given his illustrious academic and working backgrounds, “but what is in issue is the ethics of the action of the President and its legality bearing in mind the fuller import of the constitutionally protected oath of office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also the question of whether President Buhari’s decision was impeded by his private affiliations to the person of Ahmed Halilu who is reportedly related to him by marriage as the biological big brother of his only known wife and First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
Stating that the appointment may border on nepotism, the group maintained that the engagement “violates the federal character principle of the Federal Republic of Nigeria enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended).”
Onwubiko, therefore, urged Buhari to reverse himself or the National Assembly should investigate the legality or otherwise of the appointment, adding: “If this is not challenged, then before May 29 2023, we may wake up to find out that Mr. President has appointed one of his foreign educated kids as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria since he can appoint his brother-in-law as head of the institution that prints and mints the national currency of Nigeria.”
He recalled that “Nigeria, historically and factually, is a diverse country, comprising multi-ethic nationalities in the North and South. The framers of the extant Constitution recognised this diversity and enacted the Federal Character Commission Act to accommodate the interests of all groups.”
HURIWA added: “The Act seeks to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of the proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government.”
The group stated that the Federal Character clause in Section 14 (3) of the Constitution states as follows: “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”