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Yar’Adua may resume office without legal formality, says Molajo

*Ijaw warn against attempt on Jonathan’s life
*It’s embarrassing, say Opara, Okei-Odumakin
*AC tasks FG

By Dayo Benson, Political Editor, Dapo Akinrefon & Gbenga Oke
NOT a few Nigerians have reacted to the sudden return of President Umaru Yar’Adua to the country he left 91 days ago without informing the National Assembly as constitutionally required. In his reaction , Mr. Tani Molajo, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said: ”I hope and pray that his recovery will be full and permanent.  As he recovers bodily, I hope he will also recover as soon as practicable, the reins of power as President.

“Concerning Jonathan, if the President has transmitted to the National Assembly as provided in Section 145 of the Constitution, so on his return, he is expected to transmit another written declaration to NASS to enable him resume office.

“But, it is common knowledge that he did not transmit any letter before he left. And, it is by some rather strenuous thinking that NASS has taken it upon itself to interpret the BBC as the declaration provided for by Section 145.

“The problem there is that the declaration must be in writing. So, the lingering and troubling question of NASS resolution purporting to empower the V-P to assume the office of President is in acting capacity. So, that first problem created by that resolution has created a fresh problem. How does the President resume power. He cannot write to them to resume power since he did not do so when he was leaving. So, he cannot use S.145 to resume power.

“So, the question that arises is whether NASS will pass another resolution to revoke the earlier one by which they attempted to empower Jonathan to act as President.

“To my mind, that will be an anomaly because you cannot revoke that which is incompetent. In the eyes of the law, an incompetent act never come into being. So, if I am right, the Acting President was never legally empowered.

“President Umaru Yar’Adua may, therefore, resume office without any legal formality whatsoever,” he added.

Ijaw warn against attempt on Jonathan’s life

The Ijaw Monitoring Group, IMG, said, yesterday, that the arrival of President Umaru Yar’Adua has not affected the acting president capacity of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan.

In a statement signed by Comrade Joseph Evah on behalf of IMG, the Ijaw insisted that Jonathan remains the Acting President until President Yar’Adua appears before the Nigerian people and physically address the National Assembly and inform it that he is back and medically, physically, psychologically and mentally capable to govern Nigeria.

IMG insists that it was not the mandate of the returnee President to say that Jonathan was still acting, adding that  “Jonathan  was inaugurated by the National Assembly. We urge the Niger Delta to be at alert as any attempt to threaten the Acting President’s life must be resisted at all cost.”

AC tasks FG

In its reaction, the Action Congress urged the Presidency to make public disclosure of Yar’Adua’s health status.

AC’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said: “Our reactions like any other person to Yar’Adua’s return is very clear, but what is not clear is his condition of health. Our party hopes that he recovers fully. We also call on the Presidency to make a full disclosure about the state of health of the president.”

It’s embarrassing, say Opara, Okei-Odumakin

A former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives in the President Olusegun Obasanjo era, Chief Austin Opara and a top human rights activist, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, also reacted.

According to Opara: “The way and manner the President was brought into the country is condemnable, despicable and it is a shame that the president of our own nation is smuggled into the country. It is condemnable and unacceptable.

The President did not ask for the sickness that has befallen him and Nigerians have been praying for his quick recovery. For the fact that he’s ill, he should not be ashamed of it, he didn’t ask it for it. So, for smuggling him into the country is not the right thing, it is an unjust manner and I condemn it. And, Nigerians should, because we need to be briefed about the status of our president.

To Okei-Odumakin, “It is so embarrassing that the President of a country like ours, will come back and his return was shrouded in secrecy, journalists were chased away from the airport before he was taken away in an ambulance.

“Well, this is not a secret society. We are running a government that has a constitution, if it were a secret society, we would have said it is acceptable. It does not have any implication, Jonathan is still there.

“What we need do is to ascertain because we have not seen Yar’Adua yet. It is for FEC to declare him incapacitated because nobody knows where he is now, we have  not seen him speak on any television and, so, it is another diversionary tactics.

“It’s going to give room for the few people that hijacked power to continue to do that and we are not going to progress as a nation.

“Jonathan should continue to act and he needs to be empowered, but FEC needs to declare the president incapacitated.


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