Nigeria

Court adjourns hearing over implementation of women’s 35% affirmative action

The Federal High Court in Abuja has adjourned the suit filed by an alliance of women groups over the slow action of the federal government to implement the women’s 35% affirmative action.

The case, which was to be heard on September 29, 2021, has now be fixed for November 24th 2021.

The change in date came about as the presiding judge, Justice Donatus Okorowo, was unable to hear the case.

The judge, who had attended to previous cases in the day, could not carry on as a result of a pending official assignment.

Counsel to the plaintiffs, Marshall Abubakar of the Falana and Falana Chambers, mentioned that the case was hinged on the National gender policy, failure to comply with the 35% affirmative action and breach of section 42 and 147 of the 1999 constitution as pertains to the appointment of persons into appointive positions in Nigeria.

He said; “There’s a general gender bias against women in terms of appointment into offices within Nigeria. The plaintiffs are requesting the executive government to comply with the law which clearly says that, they will be no predominance of any sex, ethnic group or such in any government agencies or offices.”

After the announcement of the adjourned date, one of the advocacy lawyers, Orji Steven, mentioned that adjournment will give more room for advocacy and will create emphasis as to why the case must be heard.

Mufuliat Fijabi, CEO of Nigerian Women Trust Fund, also mentioned that the adjournment will give opportunity for women groups to have more media rounds and to educate more women as to the importance and need for women inclusion.

Listed as plaintiffs in the suit was the Incorporated Trustees of Nigerian Women Trust Fund, Women Empowerment Legal Aid and Centre for Democracy and Development (West Africa). While listed as defendants were the Federal government, Attorney General to the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Salami (SAN).

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