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You can’t sue UN Laolu Akande checks Nigeria’s Women Affairs Minister

Former presidential spokesperson, Laolu Akande, has waded in on the lawsuit statement threatened against the United Nations (UN) by Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs, Uju…

Former presidential spokesperson, Laolu Akande, has waded in on the lawsuit statement threatened against the United Nations (UN) by Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs, Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye.

Akande clarified that the United Nations enjoys immunity from local jurisdiction and thus cannot be sued in a national court.

Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs had earlier in an address at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, October 16, 2023, threatened to sue the United Nations (UN) for allegedly “mismanaging donor funds meant for Nigeria.”

Kennedy-Ohaneye boasted that if the global body did not furnish her ministry with the necessary records of account of all the monies it allegedly sourced from donors in Nigeria’s name, on or before November 15, she would take legal action.

“From the 16th of October to November 15, if we don’t get those reports for Nigerians to see, we are heading to court. They have from 16th October to November 8,” the minister had stated.

But featuring on Channels TV’s news documentary programme, “State of the Polity” on Tuesday morning, October 17, 2023, Akande, who formerly worked as a Press Officer at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, United States, in 2002 and covered press briefings at the UN, as well as other assignments for the UN’s Department of Public Information, said the United Nations cannot be sued on the account of its immunities most especially to local jurisdictions.

He, thereby, suggested that the authorities in government if necessary should start offering an orientation programme or training for newly appointed officers.

“There is also a need for the authority to have some kind of training or brushing the people up. For instance, a minister said yesterday she was going to sue the United Nations (UN),” Akande stated.

“First of all, the UN has immunity against local jurisdictions, it can’t be sued. And if you have a grudge as much as you expressed, why don’t you go to the Foreign Affairs Minister or the Budget and Planning Minister or those ministries that deal with international agencies?” Akande queried.

Similarly, also speaking further on the need for the President to correct chaotic situations affecting his orders and smooth running of government, Akande wondered on whose authority the sacked Postmaster General went back to work at the weekend after a presidential statement had announced his removal, while a successor was named.

He said, “Then you have a situation of the former NIPOST Postmaster-General coming back after a presidential statement that said that there is a new guy and you came back and made NIPOST to say that you have been reinstated. These are the chaotic situations that the President has to fix,” Akande noted.

Calling on the President to infuse the firepower to the civil service, Akande said, “There is quite a bit of chaos going on and the President has to come in and rein in on this in a very firm way. This just has to stop,”

“But thankfully there was a report that the President has waded in and the person announced by the presidential statement has resumed. But there are quite a few chaotic kinds of stuff we have spoken about and I think the President has to give authority to perhaps the Chief-of-Staff or the Secretary to the Government (SGF), somebody needs to be able to rein in very strongly against this chaos,” Akande said.

The former presidential spokesperson who noted that the “President has enough constitutional powers to take action as the executive head of government on executive matters,” said he need not go for consultation with civil servants on who to appoint, as he made a case for the civil service reform, commenting on the drama that ensued at the Ministry of Works when the minister, a former governor, Dave Umahi, locked those who came late to work behind the gate.

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