The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has scheduled April 24, 2023 to hear a suit by Abuja’s original inhabitants seeking that the Nigeria’s capital be granted the full status of a state like the existing 36, and with its own state governor.
At Wednesday hearing, the matter was rescheduled till April owing to the absence of legal representation for the defendants.
The President, National Assembly and the Attorney-General of the Federation are all defendants in the suit.
Initiated by the Registered Trustees of Abuja Original Inhabitants Youth Empowerment Organisation, the lawsuit is an attempt by the original inhabitants of Abuja to get some intervention from the court, to define their placement in the scheme of things.
in their arguments, the indigenes of FCT said they are the only people deprived of political rights to participate in elections to vote and to stand for elections in the country.
Giving more insight into the matter, counsel to the group, James Ndeye, described the suit as a case of fundamental rights, praying that the quest for the enforcement of the rights being sought translate to greater inclusion in the governance structure.
The National Assembly, the group insists, will be crucial in ensuring the required legislative interventions to make the dreams of the original Abuja inhabitants a realistic one.
Among other prayers, the Abuja natives asked the Court to order the National Assembly to apply a ‘Doctrine of Necessity’ and pass a Resolution allowing elections to be conducted into designated Executive and Legislative positions as obtainable in states, before the inauguration of a new government on 29th May, 2023.
They are also seeking that the Court awards the sum of N15 trillion against the defendants as damages.
Justice Sylvanus Oriji of the FCT High Court has fixed date for hearing of the matter when all defendants would be present.