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Yar’Adua not under obligation to hand-over – COURT

By Ise-Oluwa IGE, Abuja
A Federal high court sitting in Abuja yesterday declared that President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua is not under any obligation to hand_over the executive powers of his office to Vice President Jonathan Goodluck while travelling out of the country for medical treatment.

The trial judge, Justice Dan Abutu, also held yesterday that the failure by President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to transmit written declaration to the leadership of the National Assembly informing them of his continued inability to discharge the functions of his office is not unconstitutional.

Besides, Justice Abutu yesterday also declared that Goodluck should erase, totally, from his mind, the possibility that he could perform the executive functions of President Yar’Adua in an acting capacity as envisaged under section 145 of the 1999 constitution for now.

He said the only condition that could warrant his change of status from vice president to acting president is willful compliance by President Yar’Adua to activate the provisions of section 145 of the 1999 constitution via transmitting a written declaration to the national Assembly endorsing power_shift.

He said that he could not and would not invoke the doctrine of necessity as being urged by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to declare that he (VP Jonathan) was entitled to perform the functions of office of the president in an acting capacity in view of the omission or failure by President Yar’Adua to transfer powers.

He said he was declining the NBA invitation because the 1999 constitution had provided for the procedure to be followed before a vice president could become an acting president in a peculiar situation which we found ourselves


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