I am not mandated to transfer power to Osinbajo says Buhari

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In response to the lawsuit filed against the President, Mohammadu Buhari, for his failure to transfer power to the Vice President, Osibanjo, Buhari has said that he is not obligated to transfer the presidential powers over to Osinbajo in his absence.

Buhari stated this as the reason he chose to hold on to power when he travelled to the United Kingdom on a private visit from April 25 to say 5, 2019.

According to him, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria only mandates him to transfer powers to his Vice President when he is going on leave or when his absence from the country will extend to 21 days.

Recall that there had been a lawsuit filed against Buhari and the Attorney-General of the Federation by one Inibehw Effiong Esq, a Lagos based lawyer.

He sued Buhari for his failure to hand over power to Osinbajo when he travelled in April, at the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, with suit number FHC/L/CS/763/2019.

The lawyer had asked the court to determine whether Buhari can validly go on vacation for a long period of time without officially transmitting a written declaration to the National Assembly which will empower the Vice President to perform the functions of the President, making him the Acting President, which is contrary to section 145(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The president also file a six-paragraph counter-affidavit deposed by Mr Friday Atu, a litigation officer on the Civil Litigation Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice.

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In response to the claim, Buhari stated in his affidavit saying;

“It is a fact that the 1999 Constitution (as amended) regulates the performance of the duties of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in situations where the President is proceeding on vacation or is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of office.

“That it is a fact that where the President embarks on a vacation or otherwise is unable to discharge the functions of his office and fails to transmit a written declaration to that effect, he will be considered not to have complied with the Constitution (as amended).

“That the time within which the President has to transmit a written letter to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is 21 days.

“That the President’s foreign trip lasted for nine days from April 25, 2019, to May 5, 2019. The President did not exceed the 21-day period required by the Constitution. It is in the interest of justice to dismiss the claims of the plaintiff.”

Haven filed a counter affidavit against the suit, Buhari also filed a preliminary objection to strike out the suit on the grounds the lawyer lacks the locus standi to institute the case.

PUNCH reports that the case, which is before Justice A. O. Faji of the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos, has been fixed for Monday, October 7, 2019, for hearing.

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There have been a wide spread speculation that there is a rift between the President Muhammadu Buhari and his Vice, Osinbajo.

It has also been speculated that the Norther Cabals are conspiring to remove Osinbajo from Presidency.

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