Soohemba Aker, a university student, has asked the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court for a temporary injunction to stop the activities of the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
Ms. Aker, a final-year law student at Benue State University, Makurdi, also requested the same order suspending the work of the Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), including the distribution of the monthly allocation funds to the third, fourth, fifth, eighth, ninth, and tenth respondents, while the case is heard and decided.
The RMAFC is in charge of advising the federal and state governments on financial efficiency and ways to improve their revenue, as well as deciding on the compensation packages for those who occupy political office.
FAAC makes ensuring that funds are allocated to Federation Account recipients in compliance with constitutional requirements and upholds Supreme Court interpretations in cases where they are necessary.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Senate President, and the Governor of Abia—who was also sued in his individual role and on behalf of all the other governors of the 36 states of the federation—come in third through fifth place, respectively.
The eighth through tenth respondents are the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Minister of Justice, Attorney General of Abia (also sued on behalf of all the other Attorney Generals of the 36 states of the federation), Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja (also sued on behalf of all the other vice chancellors, and members of the Senate of both federal and state universities currently taking part in the ongoing ASUU Strike).
In a lawsuit filed by the student’s attorney, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume, SAN, to vindicate her fundamental rights, the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) were named as first and second respondents.
As the sixth, seventh, and eleventh respondents in turn, she also sued RMAFC, FAAC, and Umar Faruk (President, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS).
The applicant filed the action on behalf of herself and all present ASUU strike-affected students at public tertiary institutions, claiming that she is currently affected by the continuing strike.
The action was brought in accordance with Article 17(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9 (Charter 10 LFN 1990) No. 2 of 1983 and Sections 46(1), (2), and (3) of the 1999 Constitution.
Ms. Aker asked the court in her application for a ruling halting the payment of wages, allowances, and other benefits to all political office holders at the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Presidency, including the chief of staff to the president and all senators and representatives.
In addition, she requested that the court halt payments to all ministers, permanent secretaries, parastatal and extra-ministerial body heads, vice chancellors of universities that are on strike, Senate members of those universities that are on strike, and all ASUU members while the motion on notice is heard and decided.
She also requested a writ of mandamus compelling the defendants, including Senate members of the striking universities, to return to the first respondent (FG), pending hearing and decision of the originating motion, their monthly salaries, allowances, and other benefits received individually or collectively from the beginning of the second respondent’s industrial action to the present.
Ms. Aker said in a supporting affidavit that the strike has continued to negatively impact her because she was unable to graduate in this academic year 2022 and submit an application for admission to the Nigerian Law School.
She claimed that if nothing is done, the academic year will very certainly be lost, making her year of tuition fees useless.
Her sponsor had made it plain that this was the last year to sponsor her in school, among other things, so she continued by saying that her hopes of graduating from law school and becoming a lawyer in the future were on the edge of collapsing.
A judge has not yet been assigned to the case.