From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A suit challenging Nigeria’s membership of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and other international Islamic bodies has been transferred to the Federal High Court, Abuja by Justice A.O. Faji of the Federal High Court, Asaba.
The suit with number FHC/ASB/CS/11/2016, is also challenging the proposal by the Federal Government to obtain funds from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) to finance the deficits of the 2016 budget.
Dr. Nwankwo Tony Nwaezeigwe sued the Federal Government on behalf of the Nigeria Civil War and Genocide Research Network.
But a concerned Christian body, Christian Social Movement of Nigeria (CSMN) is seeking to be joined as one of the plaintiffs.
Joined as first to fifth defendants are the Federal Government; Attorney-General of the federation; Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; and the National Assembly. At the resumed hearing of the case in Asaba, the court held that the decision was to reduce inconveniences as all the defendants reside in Abuja.
“I am of the view that transferring the case to Abuja is a right decision, having in mind that all the defendants are in Abuja. It will reduce the inconveniences, the case is duly transferred to Abuja.” The plaintiff is asking the court to nullify Nigeria’s membership of OIC, Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Against Terrorism, Eight Developing Islamic Countries (D8) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB).
In the alternative, the plaintiff wants the court to compel the Federal Government and the Attorney-General who are the first and second defendants respectively, to withdraw Nigeria’s membership of the Islamic organisations.
The plaintiff is further seeking an order of injunction restraining the first and second defendants from “entering into any agreement, treaty, character, in violation of the provision of Section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended.
In the originating summons, counsel to the plaintiff, Solomon Nnadi contended that Nigeria’s continuous membership of OIC and other Islamic organisations was a violation of Section 10 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended which proclaims Nigeria as a secular state.
He further argued that Islamic bond otherwise known as SUKUK or funds from IDB cannot validly be used to fund the 2016 budget deficit by the Federal Government having regards to the secularity of Nigeria. The Sun