Chief Malcom Emokiniovo Omirhobo,
Lawyer Seeks Delisting Of Nigeria’s Membership From OIC
A lawyer cum Human Rights Activist, Chief Malcom Emokiniovo Omirhobo, has approached an Abuja Federal High Court, for an order delisting Nigeria’s membership with Organisation Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The lawyer is also seeking an order voiding, annulling, and terminating Nigeria’s membership from the organization and an order restraining the Federal government from appropriating public funds and/or the commonwealth of Nigerian citizens to fund sustain, maintain, run, support and or to sponsor any activity of the Organization in any capacity.
Chief Omirhobo further requested for a declaration that the OIC is not a secular global organization like the United Nations, ECOWAS and the AU but an Islamic body established to promote, protect and preserve Islamic interests and values for the benefit of Muslims Worldwide and the Islamic World. And that Nigeria’s membership of the Organization which is being funded, sustained, managed and ran with public funds and/or the common wealth of Nigerian citizens by the Federal government is the adoption of Islam by the Federal government, as the official religion of Nigeria and therefore improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.
He also asked for a declaration that Nigeria’s membership of the Organization with public funds and/or the common wealth of Nigerian citizens is to the advantage, pride, prestige and privilege of Nigerian Muslims to the disadvantage, restriction and disabilities of Nigerians of other religions and therefore discriminatory, improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional.
He also asked the court for a declaration that it is improper, illegal, unlawful and unconstitutional, for the Federal government to appropriate public funds and/or the commonwealth of Nigerians to fund, sustain, maintain and/or run her membership of the OIC or sponsor and /or support any activity at the Organization in any capacity. And a declaration that Nigeria is a secular State. And that Nigerian Constitution is the supreme law of Nigeria and its provisions have binding force on all the Defendants and all persons and authorities throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He also want the court to declare that the Federal government or any of its 36 Federating States including its Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja shall not adopt any religion as State religion.
Omirhobo sought above reliefs in the suit brought before the court for the interpretation and construction of Sections 1(1),10 and 24(1)(a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria for the Nigeria’s membership to OIC and marked FHC/ABJ/CS/643/2021, listed Federal government, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of External Affairs as first to third respondents.
Omirhobo in affidavit in support of the originating summons averred that as a citizen of Nigeria and a Human right activist cum public commentator/ analysts it is his civic obligation and responsibility to defend the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at all times. And that as a Nigerian citizen, his allegiance is Nigeria and Nigeria’s constitution.
He averred that the Federal Republic of Nigeria is both a multi-ethnic and religious State inhabited by over 200 million Citizens of over 500 ethnic groups who speak over 270 different languages and identified with diverse cultures. And that apart from Islam and Christianity being the dominant religions practiced in Nigeria, other religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Daoism, Atheism, Baha’i, Confucianism, Druze, Gnosticism, Jainism, Rastafarianism, Shinto, Skihism, Zoroastrianism, Traditional African Religions, Eckist, Armocs, gray message, Voodism etc are being practiced by Nigerians.
He stated that the OIC, is established with the objective to promote Islam and that every other of its activities flows from this overriding objective. And that it’s mission statement bills it as “the collective voice of the Muslim world” that works to “protect the interests of the Muslim world”, which he said aims to preserve Islamic values, safeguard and defend the national sovereignty and independence of member states.
He averred that on May 30, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari departed Nigeria, alongside Mohammed Badaru Abubakar the Governor of Jigawa State, Gboyega Oyetola the Governor of Osun State, Abubakar Sani Bello the Governor of Niger State and others to attend OIC’s conference in Morocco. Adding that May 31, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari delivered the address of 16 African nations who are members of OIC at the said conference.
He stated that the federal government footed the bills of the Nigerian delegation to the said conference with public funds and/or the commonwealth of Nigerian citizens. And that the Federal government has also been making some voluntary financial contributions to various OIC Funds with the public funds and/or common wealth of Nigerian citizens. While it has also been over the years been appropriating public funds and/or commonwealth of Nigerian citizens to finance Nigeria’s membership of the OIC and her activities at the O I C.
He stated that Nigeria’s membership of O I C and the actions of the Federal government is portraying Nigeria as an Islamic State locally and internationally, while Nigeria is a secular State. And that the Nigerian Constitution is the supreme laws of Nigeria and its provisions have binding force on all the defendants and all persons and authorities throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The lawyer stated that his suit before the court is for the interpretation of Sections 1(1) 10 and 42(a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended) vis a vis Nigeria’ s membership of the OIC. And for court to give judicial pronouncement and/or decision on the propriety or otherwise of Nigeria’s membership of the OIC via the interpretation of Sections 1(1) 10 and 42(a)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended).
He also stated that unless the defendants are restrained by the Court they will continue to violate the constitution of Nigeria and the status of Nigeria as a secular State will continue to be under played.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.