Minister Dragged To Court Over NYSC Saga

Hannatu Musawa, the minister of culture, arts, and creative industries, has been dragged before an Abuja federal high court regarding her selection for President Bola Tinubu’s cabinet.

Musawa’s nomination as a minister while participating in the National Youth Service Corps, or NYSC, program was criticized by several activists.

Chief Patrick Eholor and Deji Adeyanju of Concerned Nigerians are two of the activists who initiated the lawsuit.

Both activists referred to Musawa’s appointment as minister as being unlawful.

Musawa has recently been under fire from several Nigerians for being appointed as a federal minister despite still participating in the required NYSC.

However, a statement by Adeyanju said: “We wish to inform members of the general public and Concerned Nigeria that the trio of veteran activists, in Deji Adeyanju through civil rights groups Concerned Nigerians and Chief Patrick Eholor has instituted a lawsuit challenging the illegality of the appointment of Hannatu Musawa as a federal minister.

“The lawsuit instituted by Comrade Deji Adeyanju and Chief Dr Patrick Osagie Eholor against Mrs Hanatu Musawa over her appointment as federal minister while she is still a current corps member, even when her alleged membership of the All Progressives Congress is so clear to everyone.

“The lawsuit, filed at Abuja division of the Federal High Court, in suit No FHC/ABJ/CS /1198/2023, has the president of Nigeria, Attorney General of the Federation, and Hannatu Musawa as parties and was filed by Abuja based Human Rights lawyer, Samuel Ihensekhien Jnr on behalf of Deji Adeyanju and Chief, Dr Patrick Eholor.”

Commenting on the suit, a representative of Adeyanju and Eholor, Barrister Samuel Ihensekhien, said:

“It is now so crystal clear from the authoritative pronouncements of the Supreme Court in the case of Modibbo v Usman decided in 2019, that a youth corps member is not competent to contest any election in Nigeria and or engaged in partisan politics like Mrs Hanatu Musawa in this case. In the same vein, a person just like Mrs Hanatu now a federal minister of Nigeria who has not completed the compulsory one-year youth service, is not competent to be appointed a Minister in Nigeria since the Constitution has prescribed the same qualifications and disqualifications for election into the House of Representatives and appointment into the post of a Minister.”

The suit seeks five distinct reliefs and other mandatory consequential injunctions in this regard.

NYSC Director of Press and Public Relations, Eddy Megwa, admitted that the minister has been serving for the past eight months in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

He explained that it was a breach of the NYSC act for any corps member to pick up government appointments until the one year of service was over.