The hearing on the suit between Nigerian Women under six civil society organizations and Federal Government Hearing was on Wednesday held at the Federal High Court Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory.
Penpushing reports that the plaintiffs sought a declaration that the failure of the 1st defendant to implement the 35percent affirmative action policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria is illegal, unlawful, null and an arbitrary violation of the National Gender Policy, 2006,
The plaintiffs include: Women Empowerment and Legal Aid (WELA), Nigeria Women Trust Fund (NWTF),Centre For Democracy and Development (CDD- WEST AFRICA),Women Advocates Research And Documentation Centre (WARDC),Vision Spring Initiatives (VSI) and Women In Politics Forum (WIPF)
Penpushing further reports that, the plaintiffs led by Falana and Falana’s Chamber also sought relief that the failure of the 1st defendant to implement the 35 percent affirmative action policy of the federal Government of Nigeria is illegal, unlawful and a violation of sections 42, 147 (3) and 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 19 of the Adrian Charter of Human and People’s Rights.
*A declaration that the overwhelmingly predominant appointment of the male gender into decision making positions of the Federation is wrong, unlawful, unconstitutional, null and void as it violates Sections 42,147(3) and 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 19 of the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights and does not violate the right of the female gender of equal access to public office.
* An injunction restraining the 1st Defendant from further exercising the Constitutional and Statutory power of appointment in a manner violative of the 35percent affirmative action policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria as contained in the National Gender Policy, 2006.
* An order mandating the respondents to henceforth comply with the principle of equality of the sexes in all appointments in compliance with Sections 42,147 (3) and 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Article 19 of the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights.
Penpushing further reports that, the plaintiffs equally sought relief that any other order(s) the Honourable Court may make in the circumstance of the case.
The lead counsel Marshal Abubakar, held the brief of plaintiffs on behalf of Femi Falana(SAN) chambers, and in the course of proceedings, the court noted that the case is one of utmost national importance.
Penpushing also reports that the judge, Justice Okon Abang of court 6, noted that hearing notice has been issued twice to the defendants, while the plaintiff counsel however informed the judge that despite the absence of the defendants, the suit is not a fight or confrontation with the defendants but that the plaintiffs are seeking for compliance with germane constitutional and statutory provisions the defendants are bound to comply with.
The plaintiffs’ counsel, however, informed the court that despite their absence and proof of service of hearing notices, he would not be proceeding but urged the court to order issuance of hearing notice to a avail the defendants representation and on the merit, while the matter was thereafter adjourned till 5 February 2021
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