Federal High Court Dismisses Suit to Sack Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy

A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit aimed at removing the Minister of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, Hannatu Musawa, from office. The suit, filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Concerned Nigeria, Dr. Patrick Eholor, and Thomas Marcus, sought to reverse Musawa’s appointment and nullify her swearing-in.

In the suit, the plaintiffs questioned Musawa’s eligibility for the ministerial position, citing provisions of the NYSC Act and the Nigerian Constitution. They argued that Musawa, who was serving as a Corps member at the time of her appointment, was not qualified to become a federal minister.

However, Justice James Omotosho, presiding over the case, ruled that the plaintiffs lacked the legal right (locus standi) to bring the suit forward. He further stated that even if they had the standing, the suit lacked merit.

Justice Omotosho clarified that according to the Nigerian Constitution, the qualifications for appointment as a minister are based on the requirements for election as a member of the House of Representatives. Since Musawa met these qualifications, including being educated up to secondary school level, her appointment was valid.

The judge emphasized that being a serving Corps member at the time of appointment did not disqualify Musawa from holding the ministerial position. He stated that the NYSC certificate, while important, was not a basic requirement for ministerial appointment.

Musawa’s appointment was transmitted to the Senate by President Bola Tinubu, and she was subsequently screened and approved by the Senate before being sworn in as a minister. The defendants argued that Musawa’s appointment followed due process and was in accordance with existing laws.

In response to the dismissal of the suit, Musawa’s lawyer argued that the plaintiffs lacked the legal capacity to bring the action forward. They also contended that the plaintiffs had not demonstrated any special injury that would justify their standing in the case.


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