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Politics Buhari's Health: What Nigeria's Constitution Says On The Prolonged Absence of President


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The powers to function as Acting President were transferred to Vice President Yemi Osibanjo on January 19, 2017, by his principal, President Muhammadu Buhari, who proceeded on a 10-day vacation to London, United Kingdom, the same day. After a month, President Buhari wrote back for his extension of his medical stay -- leaving his country men worried than ever before. What does the constitution say on the prolonged absence of the President?

On Vacation: The constitution in Section 145 says: ''Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President. ''

And then, Section 146. (1) says: The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with section 143 of this Constitution.

pres m buhari.PNG

President Buhari of Nigeria

How can the President be impeached? Or what can lead to the impeachment of the President?

Chapter VI, Section 144 says:

(1)
The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office, if -

(a) by a resolution passed by two-thirds majority of all the members of the executive council of the Federation it is declared that the President or Vice-President is incapable of discharging the functions of his office; and

(b) the declaration is verified, after such medical examination as may be necessary, by a medical panel established under subsection (4) of this section in its report to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

(2) Where the medical panel certifies in the report that in its opinion the President or Vice-President is suffering from such infirmity of body or mind as renders him permanently incapable of discharging the functions of his office, a notice thereof signed by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives shall be published in the Official Gazette of the Government of the Federation.

(3) The President or Vice-President shall cease to hold office as from the date of publication of the notice of the medical report pursuant to subsection (2) of this section.

(4) the medical panel to which this section relates shall be appointed by the President of the Senate, and shall comprise five medical practitioners in Nigeria:-
(a) one of whom shall be the personal physician of the holder of the office concerned; and
(b) four other medical practitioners who have, in the opinion of the President of the Senate, attained a high degree of eminence in the field of medicine relative to the nature of the examination to be conducted in accordance with the foregoing provisions.

(5) In this section, the reference to "executive council of the Federation" is a reference to the body of Ministers of the Government of the Federation, howsoever called, established by the President and charged with such responsibilities for the functions of government as the President may direct.
 
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