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Nigeria’s Central Bank alleged offer of appointment to Ebonyi grads is unconstitutional

14 September 2019

Uchenna Orji, the information commissioner in Ebonyi State, said at a press conference on Thursday: “… because of the way the Governor [of Ebonyi State Dave Umahi] engaged the CBN [Central Bank of Nigeria], the CBN graciously approved to absorb all First Class indigenes of Ebonyi State origin in economics to work with the bank.

“So anybody who has a First Class degree in economics is now an automatic employee of the prestigious Central Bank of Nigeria.

“This is no mean feat and it should be appreciated by all and sundry and it is also an encouragement to our students so that they can work harder to have this kind of opportunity.”

Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State

The CBN is yet to confirm if this claim is true. However, it is very important to note that such an act for the benefit of Ebonyi State First Class graduates in economics is clearly unconstitutional. Chapter 4, Section 42(1) holds that:  A citizen of Nigeria of a particular community, ethnic group, place of origin, sex, religion or political opinion shall not, by reason only that he is such a person:

a) be subjected either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any executive or administrative action of the government, to disabilities or restrictions to which citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions are not made subject; or

b) be accorded either expressly by, or in the practical application of, any law in force in Nigeria or any such executive or administrative action, any privilege or advantage that is not accorded to citizens of Nigeria of other communities, ethnic groups, places of origin, sex, religions or political opinions.

In a nutshell, this means that a Nigerian can’t be accorded privileges on the basis of state of origin that are denied to others that don’t belong to that state. So an indigene of Ebonyi with a First in economics can’t be employed automatically by the CBN if that privilege is denied to an indigene of another state with a First in economics.

The CBN needs to dissociate themselves from this report coming out of Ebonyi as a matter of urgency.

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