Mr Michael Aondoakaa, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has said in Abuja that President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua had delegated his power to Vice President Goodluck Jonathan.
Aondoakaa, who featured at the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum, said that Yarâ€™Adua chose the option of delegating rather than transmitting power to the Vice President.
â€œThe way forward is that what we have now should be used. What we have now is the delegated power.
â€œThe President delegated all his sensitive powers to the Vice President, and we should continue to use it,â€ he said.
Aondoakaa added: â€œI say so because the way forward here is that there ought not to be a vacuum and since he has delegated powers, what is on ground must be used.
â€œWe cannot wait for the application of Section145 of the Constitution but, at least, the executive powers given to the Vice President are already in his possession.â€
According to him, Jonathan has since been exercising the powers.
The minister, who said that people had been looking at the issue from a narrow position, noted: â€œThe constitution has made adequate provision for the exercise of executive powers.
â€œThe issue of transmission of powers to the Vice President is one way; there is also another way on exercising executive powers, and it is clearly defined in Section 5 of the Constitution.
Aondoakaa said that apart from being able to transmit power voluntarily to the Vice President, he could also choose to delegate itÂ in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
â€œBut you know the politics of this situation; people look at it as if it is only one way of doing it, but the other way has been done.
â€œTherefore, you have to appreciate and consider the fact that the President chose out of these two ways, and acted by it (the constitutional provision), to have delegated instead of transmitting power. Itâ€™s all a matter of choice,â€ Aondoakaa said.
He also said that the Senate resolution urgingÂ the President to write to the National Assembly on his medical vacation was in order.
â€œWell, I just think they are doing their job, and I donâ€™t see anything negative towards it. Like you have rightly said, the lawmakers are urging and not compelling.
â€œThe provisions of Section 145 do not give room for any other body to compel; not the court, not the legislature,â€ the minister said.
He added: â€œIt is a discretional provision that the power is only vested in the President or if he chooses to voluntarily transmit power to the Vice President.
â€œSo, based on the circumstances that are on ground and in my opinion, anybody can say or urge you to send a letter.â€